Best business plan software of 2023
For planning your business finance
- The best business plan software in full
Best budget, best established, best for speed, other business plan software to consider.
The best business plan software makes it simple and easy to plan your business finances in order to present them to a bank or investors.
The best business plan software of 2023 in full 1. Best overall 2. Best budget 3. Best basic 4. Best established 5. Best for speed 6. Other business plan software to consider 7. FAQs
The whole point of a business plan is that it allows you to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, not least via your Unique Selling Point (USP) ,and make product or service comparisons with competitors.
Of course, even the best business plan relies on estimates and guesstimates, as it's impossible to predict market changes, developments, and future performance under such conditions.
Ultimately, though, a business plan will demonstratively prove why your business is a solid enough investment to risk putting money into, and shows that you have properly and thoroughly researched your market, and details the real potential of a new business opportunities.
Here then are the best business plan software providers currently available.
You can also look at our featured best free software for small business .
The best business plan software in full:
Reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.
Bizplan is the online business planning tool that claims usage of 30,000 startup founders from the Startups.co platform. They use a guided creator that can break the big project down into the component pieces that get tracked with a Progress Tracker, and expert guidance each step of the way including templates that can be dropped in, and completed, along with simple integration of visuals along the way.
Additional resources are also provided via the Bizplan Academy, with lessons on relevant topics, for example, “Building a Brand: How to Tell a Powerful Brand Story,” and “Critical Path Your Way to Higher Revenues,” among the many offerings. Those that need even more assistance also can take advantage of an expert consultation from a financial expert.
PlanGuru is a comprehensive, and powerful software package in the business planning space. Education is provided via a series of case studies at their PlanGuru University and a whole slew of video tutorials.
The feature set includes flexible budgeting that can handle a simple small business, or a larger multi-department operating budget, and financial forecasting that uses multiple methods, including intelligent and turn-key methods - twenty methods in total. Historical results can also be imported with the general ledger import utility which can then applied to produce a rolling forecast. They also offer PlanGuru Launch, a service to bring in expertise and is charged per hour of assistance.
A significant downside is Planguru charges a higher cost than other software options. The cheapest option is around $75 per month for one business entity when billed annually. While there is no free trial, PlanGuru does offer a 30 day money back guarantee.
Our expert review:
Enloop is a great choice for business planning software for the cash strapped business as it is the rare offering that has a free tier. Step up up to the next tier, and this is no barebones product, as it has over 100 currency symbols, can automatically generate bank-ready financial reports, and even has automated text writing that can sync with financial data to turn it into text. There is also a real time performance score assigned, that dynamically changes as the business plan is strengthened.
The plans start with the Free tier, which is limited to a single business plan with simple text, no images, and does not offer any advanced features. The next plan up is the Detailed plan, that supports three business plans, and offers a significant 55% discount when paid annually, making it even better value. This plan costs around $20 per month. For a more comprehensive package you can buy the Performance plan costing around $40 per month.
Read our full Enloop business plan software review .
LivePlan is business planning software that offers a simple pricing scheme as there is only a single plan to choose from. As they have a 15+ year track record, they offer a clean and simple interface, that can create business plans that look like they were done by an expert consultant, and the software includes a live dashboard that can track day-to-day performance. Those with writer’s block will benefit from the over 500 included sample plans that can be turned to for inspiration.
Rather than complicate things with too many tiers to choose from, LivePlan only has a single plan which can be paid for monthly or annually.
5. Business Sorter
Business Sorter promises to simplify and speed up business planning and claims to be able to flesh out a plan in an hour or two, via a novel 273 card sort system that covers many common situations.
The ability to reword cards is included, or also to add cards to the already expansive deck, so no worries if there is not a pre-made card for your situation. Unlike some sites that have videos, the educational resources here are provided as PDFs and Word files, which can be quicker to access, but harder to follow for some learners.
The lowest tier plan, Basic is fully featured, and includes up to three team leaders.
Read our full Business Sorter review .
We've only covered some of the most popular business plan software platforms out there, but there are a number of other notables worth mentioning, plus a wide variety of providers of business plan templates. Below we'll briefly cover a range of some of the additional options out there that are worth considering to get your business plan right.
Go Business Plans is more of a consultancy than a software solution, but is worth mentioning for the simple fact that it's one of America's biggest business plan companies. While software might be able to do the job for you, if you're looking for significant funding, it's probably useful to get some professional advice, not least in terms of strategic planning, feasibility studies, and financial projections to ensure you have a solid base for your business plan.
Wise Business Plans provides a very wide range of templates to work from in constructing a business plan. These are particularly designed with funding in mind, no matter what kind of business you run. What is especially helpful is that Wise doesn’t simply deal with business plan templates for a diverse range of business types, the company also provides plan templates for franchises and non-profits.
Plan Writers is another bespoke service that essentially listens to what you want and then puts the plan together for you. Again, this technically falls outside of business plan "software", but the chances are you'll use a software package as a platform to build from, and Plan Writers can then help you build up from that base.
Bplans is another provider of business plan templates, but goes beyond that with additional pitch and SWOT analysis templates. There are also business plan guides, industry reports, and a free course on writing a business plan. Bplans also publishes a lot of free-to-use articles on business planning, financials, and tax reporting, to help ensure you can keep your figures and projections accurate and compliant.
A business plan is essentially your roadmap to profitability from an initial investment. Whether it's your own money, or a loan from a bank, it's still a good idea to set up a business plan for yourself.
Main things to look to are a SWOT analysis to provide an idea of your business idea's strengths and weaknesses, as well as identify a unique selling point (USP) that will give your business an edge.
While business plans inevitably demand the use of figures, and while these can be impossible to be accurate with, at least by making intelligent guesses you can set yourself targets to work towards.
That's another common feature of a plan, so that specific periods you can review your business progress and make adjustments to your plan as required. This allows you to use real figures for your projections, allowing you to better plan ahead.
You may also be interested in our featured business guides on best business laptops , best business computers and best business smartphones .
Which business plan software is best for you?
When deciding which business plan software to use, first consider what your actual needs are, as sometimes free platforms may only provide basic options, so if you need to use advanced tools you may find a paid platform is much more worthwhile. Additionally, free and budget software options can sometimes prove limited when it comes to the variety of tools available, while higher-end software can really cater for every need, so do ensure you have a good idea of which features you think you may require.
How we tested the best business plan software
To test for the best business plan software we first set up an account with the relevant software platform, whether as a download or as an online service. We then tested the service to see how the software could be used for different purposes and in different situations. The aim was to push each business plan software platform to see how useful its basic tools were and also how easy it was to get to grips with any more advanced tools.
Read how we test, rate, and review products on TechRadar .
- You've reached the end of the page. Jump back up to the top ^
Are you a pro? Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up to the TechRadar Pro newsletter to get all the top news, opinion, features and guidance your business needs to succeed!
Jonas P. DeMuro is a freelance reviewer covering wireless networking hardware.
iTop Private Browser
iTop DualSafe Password Manager
Golden Joystick Awards 2023 winners announced - Baldur's Gate 3 takes home 6 awards
By Ilija Miljkovac October 23, 2023
By Lloyd Coombes October 19, 2023
By Nate Drake October 16, 2023
By Mackenzie Frazier October 16, 2023
By Amelia Schwanke October 13, 2023
By Philip Berne, Axel Metz October 12, 2023
By Kara Phillips October 12, 2023
By Nate Drake October 09, 2023
By Becca Caddy October 09, 2023
By Nate Drake October 06, 2023
- 2 Tesla's cheapest ever EV is coming – and it could be almost half the price of a Model 3
- 3 The first AI nation? A ship with 10,000 Nvidia H100 GPUs worth $500 million could become the first ever sovereign territory that relies entirely on artificial intelligence for its future
- 4 One of the best Windows 11 File Explorer alternatives just got a major upgrade
- 5 Black Friday could be your last chance for a great SSD deal before price rises kick in
- 2 Netflix’s new heist film trailer from The Italian Job director shows an action comedy set 40,000 ft in the air
- 3 North Korean hackers are targeting Apple users with new macOS malware
- 4 Game over! No Windows laptop can come close to what Apple has done to the 14-inch MacBook Pro — and I’m a hardcore Microsoft fan
- 5 This will sell out – the Apple Watch 9 is down to a new record-low price at Walmart's Black Friday sale
Home > Business > Business Startup
- 5 Best Business Plan Software and Tools in 2023 for Your Small Business
Data as of 3 /13/23 . Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
We are committed to sharing unbiased reviews. Some of the links on our site are from our partners who compensate us. Read our editorial guidelines and advertising disclosure .
A business plan can do a lot for your business. It can help you secure investors or other funding. It can give your company direction. It can keep your finances healthy. But, if we’re being honest, it can also be a pain to write.
Luckily, you don’t have to start from scratch or go it alone. Business plan software and services can help you craft a professional business plan, like our top choice LivePlan , which provides templates, guidance, and more.
You’ve got quite a few choices for business plan help, so we’re here to help you narrow things down. Let’s talk about the best business plan tools out there.
- LivePlan : Best overall
- BizPlanBuilder : Most user-friendly
- Wise Business Plans : Best professional service
- Business Sorter : Best for internal plans
- GoSmallBiz.com : Most extra features
- Honorable mentions
Business plan software 101
The takeaway, business plan software faq, compare the best business plan software.
LivePlan: Best overall business plan software
Data as of 3 /13/23 . Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. *With annual billing
LivePlan has been our favorite business plan software for a while now, despite the stiff competition.
There’s a lot to like about LivePlan. It has pretty much all the features you could want from your business plan software. LivePlan gives you step-by-step instructions for writing your plan, helps you create financial reports, lets you compare your business’s actual financials to your plan’s goals, and much more. And if you ever need inspiration, it includes hundreds of sample business plans that can guide your writing.
LivePlan software pricing
But the best part? You get all that (and more) at a very competitive price. (You can choose from annual, six-month, or monthly billing.) While LivePlan isn’t quite the cheapest business plan builder out there, it’s not too far off either. And if comes with a 60-day money back guarantee. So there’s no risk in trying LivePlan out for yourself.
With a great balance of features and cost, LivePlan offers the best business plan solution for most businesses.
BizPlanBuilder: Most user-friendly
Need something easy to use? BizPlanBuilder fits the bill.
BizPlanBuilder doesn’t have a flashy, modern user interface―but it does have a very clear, intuitive one. You’ll be able to see your plan’s overall structure at a glance, so you can quickly navigate from your title page to your market trend section to that paragraph on your core values. And as you write, you’ll use a text editor that looks a whole lot like the word processing programs you’re already familiar with.
BizPlanBuilder software pricing
Data effective 3/13/23. At publishing time, amounts, rates, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.
BizPlanBuilder also offers lots of helpful guidance for actually writing your plan. It gives you pre-written text, in which you just have to fill in relevant details. It offers explanations for what information you need to include in each section of your plan and way. It even gives you helpful tips from experts, so you’ll have all the information you need to plan like a pro.
So if you want planning software with almost no learning curve, you’ll like BizPlanBuilder.
Wise Business Plans: Best professional service
- Custom quote
Unlike all the other companies on this list, Wise Business Plans doesn’t offer software. Instead, it offers professional business plan writing services―meaning someone does all the hard work for you.
Now, you might think that sounds expensive―and you’re probably right (you have to request a custom quote for your plan). But there’s a lot to be said for expertise, and Wise Business Plans has plenty of that. Your business plan will get written by an experienced writer (with an MBA, no less). They’ll get information from you, do their own research, and then write your plan. You get one free revision, and you can always pay for more.
Wise Business Plans service pricing
Your end result will be a polished, entirely original business plan. (You can even get printed copies.) And best of all, you won’t have to spend your precious time working on the plan yourself. Wise Business Plans takes care of all the hard parts, and makes your business look good while doing it. Sounds like a service worth paying for, right?
Put simply, if you want the most professional business plan possible, we recommend using Wise Business Plans’s writing service.
Business Sorter: Best for internal plans
Many businesses need plans to show to people outside the company (to get financing, for example). But what if you just need a plan for internal use? In that case, we suggest Business Sorter.
Business Sorter uses a unique card-based method to help you craft the perfect business plan. (You can watch a demo video to see how it works.) You’ll plan some of the usual things, like finances and marketing. But Business Sorter also lets you make plans for specific teams and team members. It also emphasizes more internal matters, like operations, that might get overlooked in a business plan for outsiders.
Business Sorter software pricing
After you’ve made your business plan, Business Sorter also helps you stay accountable to it. You can create tasks, give them deadlines, and assign them to team members―giving you basic project management tools to make sure your business plans become business actions. (Oh, and did we mention that Business Sorter has the lowest starting prices of any software on this list?)
It all adds up to a business plan software that works great for internal planning.
GoSmallBiz: Most extra features
Want to get way more than just business planning software? Then you probably want GoSmallBiz.
See, GoSmallBiz offers business plan software as part of its service―but it’s just one part of a much bigger whole. You also get everything from discounts on legal services to a website builder to a CRM (customer relationship manager) to business document templates. And more. In other words, you get just about everything you need to get your startup off the ground.
GoSmallBiz software pricing
Don’t worry though―you still get all the business planning help you need. GoSmallBiz gives you business plan templates, step-by-step instructions, and the ability to create financial projections. And if you get stuck, GoSmallBiz will put you in touch with experts who can offer advice.
If you want business planning and much, much more, give GoSmallBiz a try.
- PlanGuru : Best financial forecasting
- EnLoop : Cheapest tool for startups
We recommend the software above for most business planning needs. Some businesses, though, might be interested in these more specialized planning software.
Honorable mention software pricing
Planguru: best financial forecasting features.
PlanGuru is pretty pricey compared to our other picks, but you might find its forecasting features worth paying for. It has more forecasting methods than other software (over 20) plus it lets you forecast up to 10 years.
EnLoop: Cheapest tool for startups
EnLoop doesn’t have our favorite features or interface, but it does have really, really low pricing plus a seven-day free trial. It's the most affordable software for startup business planning and still provides all the essential features like financial analysis, team collaboration, charting, and more.
Data as of 3 /13/23 . Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. * With annual billing
Several of our previous favorite planning software, including BusinessPlanPro and StratPad, seem to have gone out of business.
A business plan is a written, living document that tells the story of your business and what you plan to do with it. It serves as the source of truth for you—the business owner—as well as potential partners, employees, and investors, but it also serves as a roadmap of what you want your business to be.
Why you need a business plan
While some small-business owners don’t see the point of creating a formal business plan, it can have some concrete benefits for your business. For example, one 2016 study found that business owners with written plans are more successful than those that don’t. 1
Still too vague? Then let’s get specific.
If you ever seek business funding (from, say, banks, angel investors , or venture capitalists ), you’ll have to prove that your business deserves the money you want. A formal business plan―complete with financial data and projections―gives you a professional document you can use to make your case. (In fact, most potential investors will expect you to have a business plan ready.)
Even if you’re not seeking funding right now, a business plan can help your business. A formal plan can guide your business’s direction and decision making. It can keep your business accountable (by, for example, seeing if your business meets the financial projections you included). And a formal plan offers a great way to make sure your team stays on the same page.
What to include in your business plan
Not all business plans are created equal. To make a really useful business plan, you’ll want to include a number of elements:
- Basic information about your business
- Your products/services
- Market and industry analysis
- What makes your business competitive
- Strategies and upcoming plans
- Your team (and your team’s background)
- Current financial status
- Financial and market projections
- Executive summary
Of course, you can include more or fewer elements―whatever makes sense for your business. Just make sure your business plan is comprehensive (but not overwhelming).
How business plan software can help
With so many elements to include, business plan creation can take a while. Business plan software tries to speed things up.
Most business plan software will include prompts for each section. In some cases, you can just fill in your business’s specific information, and the software will write the text for you. In other cases, the software will give you specific guidance and examples, helping you write the text yourself.
Plus, business plan software can help you stay organized. You’ll usually get intuitive menus that let you quickly flip through sections. So rather than endlessly scrolling through a long document in a word processor, you can quickly find your way around your plan. Some software even lets you drag and drop sections to reorganize your plan.
Sounds way easier than just staring at a blank page and trying to start from scratch, right?
Choosing business plan software
To find the right business plan builder for your business, you’ll want to compare features. For example, would you rather write your own text, getting prompts and advice from your software? Or would you rather go with a fill-in-the-blank method?
Likewise, think about the elements you need. If your plan will have a heavy focus on finances, you’ll want to choose business plan software with robust financial projection features. If you care more about market and competitor analysis, look for software that can help with that research.
You may also want to find business plan software that integrates with your business accounting software . Some plan builders will import data from Xero, QuickBooks, etc. to quickly generate your financial data and projections.
And of course, you’ll want to compare prices. After all, you always want to end up with software that fits your business budget.
The right business plan software can make your life easier. With LivePlan ’s wide breadth of features and online learning tools, you can’t go wrong. Plus, BizPlanBuilder 's one-time pricing makes it easy to invest while Business Sorter has a low starting cost. And if you're business is looking to grow, GoSmallBiz and Wise Business Plans will scale with you.
But of course, different companies have different needs. So shop around until you find the software that’s best for you and your business.
Now that you've got a business plan, take a look at our checklist for starting a small business. It can help you make sure you have everything else you need to get your startup off to a good start!
- 7 Steps to Build a Successful Project Management Sales Plan
- Best Project Management Software and Tools in 2023
- 4 Cost Management Techniques for Small Businesses
Creating a business plan can take anywhere from a couple hours to several weeks. Your timeline will depend on things like the elements you choose to include, whether you use software or hire a writing service, and how much research goes into your plan.
That said, much of the business plan software out there brags that it can help you create a fairly detailed plan in a few hours. So if you’re going the software route, that can help you set your expectations.
If you want to get the most out of your business plan, you should update it on a regular basis―at least annually. That way, you can continually refer to it to inform your company’s strategies and direction.
At the very least, you should update your business plan before you start looking for a new round of funding (whether that’s with investors or lenders).
Thanks to business plan software, you can easily write your own business plan rather than pay someone to do it for you. And in most cases, software will cost you less than a professional business plan service.
There are some times you might want to go with a service though. If time is tight, you might find that it’s worth the cost of a service. Or if you’ve got big investor meetings on the horizon, you might want the expertise and polish that a professional service can offer.
Ultimately, you’ll have to decide for yourself whether business plan software or a business plan service will work better for your company.
We ranked business plan software and tools based on features, pricing and plans, and connections to project management and other services. The value of each plan and service, along with what it offers, was a big consideration in our rankings, and we looked to see if what was offered was useful to small businesses or just extra. The final thing we looked at was the ease of use of the software to see if it's too complex for small businesses.
At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don't guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.
Sources 1. Harvard Business Review, “ Research: Writing a Business Plan Makes Your Startup More Likely to Succeed .” Accessed March 13, 2023.
5202 W Douglas Corrigan Way Salt Lake City, UT 84116
Accounting & Payroll
Point of Sale
Best Small Business Loans
Best Inventory Management Software
Best Small Business Accounting Software
Best Payroll Software
Best Mobile Credit Card Readers
Best POS Systems
Best Tax Software
Stay updated on the latest products and services anytime anywhere.
Disclaimer: The information featured in this article is based on our best estimates of pricing, package details, contract stipulations, and service available at the time of writing. All information is subject to change. Pricing will vary based on various factors, including, but not limited to, the customer’s location, package chosen, added features and equipment, the purchaser’s credit score, etc. For the most accurate information, please ask your customer service representative. Clarify all fees and contract details before signing a contract or finalizing your purchase.
© Business.org 2023 All Rights Reserved.
When you use links on our website, we may earn a fee.
Best Project Management Software of 2023
Table of Contents
- Best Project Management Software
- Things To Consider When Buying
- How We Chose
Whether team capacity planning or delegating tasks remotely, the best project management software fits into your workflows seamlessly. It organizes documents and communications while allowing co-workers to collaborate in real time. Businesses of all sizes, from law firms and creative agencies to software development teams and enterprises, use project management tools to manage resources, portfolios, and more.
In addition to our first-person experiences with each system, we spoke with business users to learn how top-rated project management tools impact their processes. We explored user reviews and ratings while evaluating pricing, software features, capabilities, and integrations. Learn how the following project management apps stack up.
- Best Overall: Monday.com »
- Best Budget: Nifty »
- Best for Small Businesses: Trello »
- Best for Resource Management: Smartsheet »
- Best for Enterprise Projects: Microsoft Project »
- Best for Project Portfolio Management (PPM): ClickUp »
- Best for Agile Project Management: Jira Software »
Best Overall: Monday.com
Relatively quick deployment with a minimal learning curve
Native integrations with over 200 programs
14-day free trial, no credit card required
Paid plans require a minimum of three seats
Salesforce integration is limited to Enterprise users
Rivals offer more views at lower-priced tiers
Monday.com is a cloud-based work operating system (WorkOS). Its adaptability to different work environments and styles makes it our top pick as the best project management software overall. Businesses of all sizes can use the platform as a standalone project, resource, or portfolio management tool or leverage it to oversee their entire business operations.
Since Monday.com integrates with over 200 applications and has open application programming interfaces (APIs), connecting your existing tools is relatively easy. Like other project management systems, you must play with formatting and functions to configure your spaces. Fortunately, Monday.com has more than 200 ready-made templates to jumpstart your boards. These include industry-specific options like an event management dashboard and customer-centric project management templates.
Most employers and contractors (guest users) can tackle basic tasks with little to no learning curve. For instance, I connected to Google Drive, uploaded files, viewed assignments, and tagged editors on my first time using the software without onboarding or assistance. Additionally, we appreciate Monday.com’s code-free automations and the many options for viewing your boards. Aside from its WorkOS software, the company offers Monday dev, which adds sprint management, bug tracking, and roadmap planning.
- Price: Free for two users; Monthly pricing starts at $10 per user, with a minimum of three users; Annual pricing starts at $8 monthly per user, with a minimum of three users
- Views: Table, Gantt, Chart, Calendar, Kanban, Files Gallery, Form, Map, Workload, Timeline, and Blank
- Features and Tools: 5 GB to 1,000 GB file storage, iOS and Android apps, over 200 templates, activity log, unlimited boards and items, private boards, automations, and dependencies
- Integrations: Over 200 integrations, including CRMs, Marketing, Project Management, Software Development, Team Management, Productivity and Efficiency, Collaboration, Reporting and Analytics, Design and Creative, HR, and Finance
- Collaboration Capabilities: In-document collaboration, whiteboard, and @mention in updates
- Customer Support: Self-serve knowledge base and 24/7 customer support
Best Budget: Nifty
The free version displays milestone and task dependencies
Built-in direct messaging tools
Free 14-day trial, no credit card required
Limited customer service options
Fewer integrations than other project management tools
With a free forever plan for unlimited team members and tasks, Nifty is the best project management software for businesses on a budget. Its base plan’s per-user price (with annual billing) costs less than most rivals. Plus, Nifty offers a 50% discount to non-profits and educational institutions.
Nifty’s free version includes two active projects, 100 MB of storage space, and all core features. We appreciated its all-in-one workspace, showing task and milestone dependencies. Paid subscriptions provide advanced tools like time tracking, workflow automations, and budget tracking. As a central hub, Nifty supports group and one-on-one chats. Zoom and Webex integrations let teams launch video calls right from direct messages.
Users can create a task or document within project discussions and leverage multiple views to understand a project’s timeline or employee workload. Since your staff can customize their dashboard, every person can put the widgets they need front and center.
The software is flexible, allowing for multiple use cases, from legal case management to agile development. Nifty’s blog explains how to use the platform as a customer relationship management (CRM) program or for issue tracking and bug management.
- Price: Free for unlimited users; Monthly pricing starts at $9 per user; Annual pricing starts at $5 monthly per user
- Views: Kanban (Board view), Calendar, Timeline, Gantt Chart (Milestone Overview), Cross-Project, Team Workloads, Swimlane, Master Overview
- Features and Tools: 100 MB to unlimited storage space, two to unlimited active projects, iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows apps, task and milestone dependencies, workflow automation, task management, time tracking, and file proofing
- Integrations: Harvest, Webex, Zoom, Slack, Github, Microsoft Suite, Google Drive and Calendar, Miro, Typeform, and Zapier
- Collaboration Capabilities: Real-time chat, discussions, file and document sharing, Zoom and Webex video meetings
- Customer Support: Self-serve help center, priority support for Business users, and a dedicated success manager with Enterprise plans
Best for Small Businesses: Trello
Unlimited power-ups and integrations on the free plan
Visually appealing and user-friendly
14-day trial of Trello Premium
Lacks advanced reporting tools required for complex projects
Does not show interdependencies
Trello’s cloud-based platform resembles a modern whiteboard with sticky notes, except you can automate repetitive actions to streamline project workflows, attach files, and communicate with co-workers. Trello is our top pick for the best small business project management software due to its intuitive user interface, affordability, and time-saving features.
Its free version supports your entire team with unlimited workspaces (each with 10 boards and unlimited cards) and storage. You can set due dates and assign tasks or create a new card from an email. Paid subscriptions provide more views (dashboard, timeline, and map) and remove board limitations.
Trello connects to over 200 third-party tools like Slack, Salesforce, Zoho CRM, and Miro. These integrations work as power-ups, meaning you can, for example, embed a Miro whiteboard in a Trello card or view contact data from Zoho CRM without leaving Trello. Many of these integrations work with Trello’s no-code automation tools, allowing you to generate a new Jira ticket or post a Slack reminder.
I’ve used Trello for over five years to manage client projects and leads. Its intuitive interface has almost no learning curve. Yet, once you dig into the knowledge base, you’ll discover many ways to increase productivity and project oversight. Trello can serve as a resource hub, onboarding center, or editorial calendar.
- Price: Free for your whole team; Paid plans start at $6 per user monthly or $5 with annual billing
- Views: Dashboard, Timeline, Calendar, Board, Table, Map, Workspace Calendar
- Features and Tools: Unlimited cards, no-code automation, iOS, Android, and desktop apps, activity logs, templates, task management, and checklists
- Integrations: Over 200 integrations, including analytics and reporting, automation, communication and collaboration, developer tools, file management, HR and operations, IT and project management, marketing and social media, product and design, sales and support
- Collaboration Capabilities: File sharing and @mention on cards
- Customer Support: Varies by plan. Free: Self-help and community support; Standard: Local business hours; Premium: 24/5 Premium support; Enterprise: 24/7 support
Best for Resource Management: Smartsheet
Customizable dashboard and reporting tools
Automated alerts for Slack and Microsoft Teams
Smartsheet Pro plan is limited to 10 users
Steeper learning curve than other PM software
Some resource management tools require a premium add-on
As the name suggests, Smartsheet has a spreadsheet-like interface. However, its dynamic resource planning capabilities help companies manage schedules, forecast availability, and stay on budget. Consequently, we chose Smartsheet as the best project management software for resource management.
Michelle Delker, CFO and CPA at the William Stanley Group, says Smartsheet “supports large scale and multi-faceted projects, providing extensive project management capabilities, including comprehensive Gantt charting.” The Gantt view displays cross-project dependencies, milestones, hierarchy, percentage complete, custom fields, and more. Moreover, Delker mentions, “The software’s robust analytics and real-time reporting capabilities provided invaluable insights that drive critical decision-making.”
With the Resource Management add-on, leaders can spot trends with utilization reports or forecast business growth with monthly or quarterly statements. Real-time analytics show key metrics (incurred hours, fees, or expenses) so project managers can adjust schedules (or expectations) accordingly.
While the spreadsheet is where the main work happens, the dashboards are also critical tools. When team members log in, the dashboard can display metrics, images, and charts. Or you can turn it into an information hub with real-time updates and resources. Additionally, we like that Smartsheet lets all users (even on the free version) log in via Microsoft, Google, or their Apple ID.
- Price: Free for one user and two editors; Paid plans start at $9 per user monthly or $7 monthly with annual billing
- Views: Grid, Gantt, Calendar, and Card
- Features and Tools: Task management, physical, human, and financial resource management, dependencies, file attachments, automations, spreadsheet formulas and functions, and Android and iOS apps
- Integrations: More than 100 third-party integrations, including Slack, Google Workspace, Microsoft Teams, and PowerBI
- Collaboration Capabilities: File sharing and comments
- Customer Support: Online web and community, except for Enterprise, which has 24/7 phone support
Best for Enterprise Projects: Microsoft Project
Straightforward integration with Microsoft Teams
Cloud and on-premise installation options
One-month free trial
Less affordable at higher tiers
Companies may need additional Microsoft subscriptions for full functionality
Microsoft Project debuted almost 30 years ago and is one of the few project management tools still offering on-premise installation, often preferred by large organizations. Its seamless integration with other Microsoft products means companies can leverage Microsoft Power BI for insights or jump into a Teams meeting without fussing around with APIs or integrations. For these reasons and others, we chose Microsoft Project as the best project management software for enterprise projects.
Indeed, José Moya, outreach manager at Capicua Full Stack Creative Hub, says that Microsoft Project “offers comprehensive project and portfolio management features, making it ideal for managing large-scale and complex projects.” It provides a central hub for portfolio, project, and resource management, supporting agile and waterfall methodologies.
Visual, interactive roadmaps help individuals and project managers understand workstream and summary tasks. In addition, easy-to-edit project planning templates mean you don’t have to start from scratch. We liked how users could link tasks to show dependencies and the advanced tools available for status tracking and costing. With web, on-premise, and desktop versions, enterprises can choose project management solutions based on how and where employees work.
- Price: Cloud-based solutions start at $10 per user monthly; On-premise software starts at $679.99
- Views: Grid, Board, and Timeline (Gantt)
- Features and Tools: Task assignment, templates, task dependencies, pre-built reports, interactive roadmaps, timesheets, resource management, portfolio optimization, demand management, and enterprise planning
- Integrations: Microsoft 365
- Collaboration Capabilities: Microsoft Teams for file sharing, meetings, and chat and Co-authoring
- Customer Support: Self-help resources; customer service options vary by plan and products
Best for Project Portfolio Management (PPM): ClickUp
Customizable views, templates, and automations
Unlimited storage with all paid subscriptions
Analytics and portfolio templates to streamline management
Fewer native integrations than Monday.com
Users say it takes longer to personalize it for their business
ClickUp centralizes your tasks, projects, and goals, giving teams and leaders a unified view of the company’s portfolio. During interviews, experts almost unanimously mentioned ClickUp’s customization as a key reason for using the platform. Riva Jeane May Caburog, PR and Media Coordinator at Nadrich & Cohen personal injury law firm, says, “When it comes to handling projects with a flexible approach, ClickUp lets us set up things the way we like, which helps us stay quick and responsive to our clients.”
At the same time, ClickUP provides nearly all tools required to handle diverse portfolios, including time-tracking functions, portfolio management templates, and sprint burndown charts. Its vast feature set is why we chose ClickUp as the best project management software for project portfolio management.
Indeed, Allie Decker, co-founder of Omniscient Digital, mentions she chose ClickUp for its “ability to handle multiple project portfolios and offer all-encompassing views. We use it to manage dynamic tasks and subtasks, roll out our quarterly and biannual projects, track important client information and resources, capacity-plan for our team, and much, much more.”
- Price: Free for unlimited users; Paid plans start at $10 per user monthly or $7 with annual billing
- Views: List, Board, Calendar, Box, Gantt, Activity, Timeline, Workload, Table (spreadsheet), Map, and Mindmap
- Features and Tools: Unlimited tasks, automations, recurring tasks, dashboards, milestones, time tracking, sprints, templates, dependencies, and portfolios
- Integrations: Open APIs, Over 50 native integrations, including Slack, HubSpot, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Calendly, plus Zapier connections
- Collaboration Capabilities: Whiteboards, real-time chat, attachment annotation, and email in Click-up
- Customer Support: 24/7 support, live chat on paid plans, and priority support with Enterprise
Best for Agile Project Management: Jira Software
Over 3,000 apps and integrations
Free for up to 10 users
A sandbox environment (advanced roadmaps)
The extensive feature set can overwhelm less technical-savvy users
Some capabilities require paid plug-ins
Designed for agile teams, Jira offers a robust free version for 10 users (with unlimited automation rules for a single project) and paid plans suitable for up to 35,000 team members. It shows real-time visual data, and you can configure the software to your team’s workflow, organizational structure, or agile maturity level. Jira’s focus on agile methodologies is why we chose it as the best project management software for agile project management.
Dmitri Graf, a software engineering project leader, calls Jira the “De facto dominating standard tool in the world of software projects.” Abhishek Shah, founder of Testlify, says, “The customizable Kanban and Scrum boards, along with sprint planning and backlog management, enable efficient project execution and continuous improvement.” Users can view dependencies between tasks and see important information (like assigned tasks) on team dashboards.
Aside from agile project management, Jira Software enables leaders to capacity plan and use advanced roadmaps to visualize data or explore possible opportunities. Another standout feature is the Atlassian Marketplace. It features over 3,000 apps and integrations, allowing businesses to connect CRM, helpdesk, and design tools.
- Price: Free for 10 users; Paid plans start at $7.75 per user monthly or $790 annually
- Views: Timelines, Scrum, and Kanban
- Features and Tools: Unlimited automations, dependency management, customizable workflows, capacity management, templates, unlimited project boards, and advanced roadmaps
- Integrations: Over 3,000 apps and integrations, including GitLab, Microsoft Power BI, Figma, Salesforce, and HubSpot
- Collaboration Capabilities: @mentions and share buttons
- Customer Support: Ticketing system
The Bottom Line
Project management software solutions vary greatly in ease of use and functionality. In some cases, vendors lock must-have features behind pricier tiers. We preferred Monday.com because of its low technical barriers and two project management offerings (a general PM tool and an agile software development system). While we wish it had real-time messaging, the multiple views, integrations, and code-free automations won us over.
However, for more complex tasks or enterprise-level portfolios, Monday.com may not be appropriate. Invite your team to take advantage of free trials. Then, have an honest discussion to see which option will be the best project management software going forward.
Things To Consider When Looking for Project Management Software
- Compatibility with existing workflows and tools: Deploying new project management software is challenging. The last thing you want to do is overall your current processes, from brainstorming ideas to assigning tasks. The best solutions will fit into your workflows and not require your team to change them dramatically. Likewise, you won’t want to switch email, CRM, or video conferencing providers. Consult with your team to see which integrations would reduce task switching and improve productivity. Then, review project management solutions to see if any connect to your must-have programs.
- User-friendly interface and ease of adoption: Always consider the technical and non-technical team members who will use the software. For successful deployment and implementation, you truly need everyone on board. Although some software with advanced features will have a steeper learning curve, you can plan for this by developing an onboarding and training program. But if you need simple project planning tools, look for an intuitive system that doesn’t require weeks of training. Most users can complete basic actions in tools like Trello or Monday.com. Gauge employee responses during free trials and demos. Ask for their feedback, follow up, and consider their opinions before making your final decision.
- Project management methodology support: Software capabilities differ. Most offer Kanban views and support the basics of waterfall and agile methodologies. But, not all work for teams using scrum or adaptive project frameworks. Check out the vendor’s use cases (typically listed under “Solutions”). These will give you a good idea of what types of companies and teams use the software. Most providers mention features or tools that support these use cases. Also, look at the available templates. Although you can often build your own, starting with a ready-made design and customizing it to suit your process is more straightforward than starting from scratch. Lastly, review the knowledge base. The company should offer method-specific tutorials on how to get the most out of the software for your methodology.
- Collaboration and communication features: Project management software should unify your teams, and one way it does that is by ensuring seamless communication. However, the available methods differ. Some, like ClickUp and Nifty, offer in-app live chat. This messaging feature means remote teams don’t have to switch to your business phone system to resolve an issue. Others have built-in video integrations, allowing users to start a video call without leaving the application. These tools and others can enhance collaboration and productivity. More common among project management software are comments, where you can mention co-workers, and they receive notifications. Most support co-annotation file and document sharing, and some have whiteboards.
- Customization and flexibility options: Consider who will use your project management software and how applications support different roles. You want the system to be flexible enough to handle granule details of individual projects, which depends on your methodology and workflows. For instance, PM apps allow for different dependencies, automations, and task assignments. At the same time, project managers need to personalize their dashboards to view workloads and deadlines. Also, automated notifications and real-time metrics help managers monitor progress. At a high level, business owners and executives should be able to customize the software to see an overview of all projects. Look for apps with recurring, automated reports, portfolio options, and forecasting tools. Lastly, the software should facilitate communication and collaboration between on-site, remote, and hybrid teams with desktop and mobile apps.
How We Chose the Best Project Management Software
Our U.S. News 360 Reviews editors spoke with chief financial officers, founders, and software development engineers to develop this rating of the best project management software. Many experts, including our own editors and the author, used several PM tools before settling on their favorite. They often switched apps as their operations grew and their needs became complex. Therefore, the key takeaway is to ensure your software suits today's requirements and can scale to meet short-term growth.
We examined dozens of project management systems and narrowed our options after interviewing software users and reading reviews. Our evaluation considered supported methodologies, views, features, and ease of use. We also assessed templates, automations, and dependency management.
While prices vary among solutions, we were pleased to find many free and low-cost versions. In addition, several offer free trials, giving companies an excellent opportunity to test out software before committing.
WHY SHOULD YOU TRUST US?
With decades of product testing and research experience, our editors and contributors are familiar with nearly all aspects of software. Jessica Elliott , the author of this article, has relied on project management software as an employee, business owner, and contractor. Like other experts we interviewed, she’s tested multiple applications over the past decade and uses at least two in her current role.
Most project management solutions offer a free trial of paid software versions, ranging from seven to 30 days. Many allow new users to sign up for the trial period without entering credit card information. Alternatively, you can try the free versions. However, these may not provide access to advanced features.
Many project management applications place the most limitations on free versions while allowing unlimited projects with paid subscriptions. Since paid plans incur a per-user fee, you are typically not restricted to a certain number of users. Other limitations may vary by package, including storage space, automations, boards, cards, dashboards, or tasks.
Always review the customer service information for project management software carefully. During our assessment, we found that most vendors do not offer phone support, and only a few have live chat options. Most provide self-help services and email or ticketing support. However, the response time may vary by subscription tier and issue priority.
Some project management applications offer one-click migration services for companies transferring from another system. For example, ClickUp can migrate data from Jira Software, Trello, and Monday.com. Alternatively, you can create a custom import for unsupported software programs.
Although vendors offer software comparisons on their websites, reviewing information from trusted third parties is a good idea. Look for fact-based guides that compare prices, features, and usability. Also, check out user feedback from project managers in similar industries. We suggest asking your professional network for recommendations as well. Colleagues can share insights and answer questions to help guide your decision.
U.S. News 360 Reviews takes an unbiased approach to our recommendations. When you use our links to buy products, we may earn a commission but that in no way affects our editorial independence.
Best Business Process Management Software in 2023
Share with Your Friends
Your email has been sent
BPM software streamlines and automates business processes for improved efficiency and productivity. Check out our top BPM software to find your best fit.
Asana: Best for team insights
Zoho creator: best for customization, clickup: best for data visualization, monday.com: best for project and team management, ntask: best for time management, jira work management: best for both startups and enterprises.
A big part of growth is knowing you need to change and adapt. Teams that take this to heart will know that even if their work gets done it doesn’t mean you can’t improve it or make it easier for employees. Business process management (BPM) software is designed to help you analyze business processes and understand what works, what can be better and what you can add. The software on this list can offer capabilities to help you on your improvement journey.
Top business project management software comparison
- Top business project management software
- Key features of business project management software
- How do I choose the best business project management software for my business?
The table below shows whether the 4 software have some key features for BPM tools. The pricing is of course also a consideration and is based on the first paid plan regardless of whether they have a free plan or not.
Asana is a feature-rich project management solution with advanced features for reporting and security. You can use their detailed progress capabilities to measure performance and determine team needs based on projects. The software can help you gain in-depth insights into workloads and make changes to current business processes from there.
- Basic: Free with unlimited tasks, messages and projects.
- Premium: $10.99 user/month, billed annually, or $13.49 user/month, billed monthly.
- Business: $24.99 user/month, billed annually, or $30.49 user/month, billed monthly.
- Enterprise: See sales.
- Unlimited projects, messages and file storage.
- Multiple work views include list, board, calendar, Gantt and due date views.
- Native time tracking in higher tiers or through other integrations in lower tiers.
- Custom templates, chart template library and workflow builder.
- Reporting for time tracking, progress view, goals and workloads.
- Through the rules and bundles features, you can automate routine tasks and update processes.
- Security features like multi-factor authentication and data loss prevention (DLP).
- Data visualization to track progress, deadlines and overall time of projects.
- Over integrates to help you incorporate your tech stack.
- Great for tracking changes and overall performance.
- Limits on reporting and integrations in lower tiers.
- Only paid plans have full security features and the Business plan has 24/7 support.
- Enterprise Plan is the only one to have advanced data protection and compliance.
If your team is looking for a BPM that allows you to tailor the application to your needs, Zoho Creator is a unique solution. Tech-savvy teams can use the low-code BPM tool to develop their ideal solutions for their business needs. It may not be suited for simple workflows and less technology, but it is awesome for complex data needs in BPM.
- Standard: $8 user/month, billed annually, or $12 user/month, billed monthly.
- Professional: $20 user/month, billed annually, or $30 user/month, billed monthly.
- Enterprise: $25 user/month, billed annually, or $37 user/month, billed monthly.
- Flex: Teams can contact sales to customize their subscription.
- One custom app per plan and unlimited custom apps for higher tiers.
- Work views like calendar, kanban, tasks, issues, milestones and Gantt charts.
- Access for mobile, desktop and tablet, as well as personal branding.
- Pre-made and custom AI models along with app templates to get started faster.
- Ability to connect with Zoho business suite and other third-party apps, and even make custom connections with preferred apps.
- Developer tools and advanced data analytics.
- Workflow automation for actions, analytics and approvals.
- Companies can create external user portals for clients, vendors or customers.
- Allows teams to create the missing app in their tech stack and improve current business processes.
- Importing and exporting data in all plan tiers.
- Ability to set workflow rules to ensure business processes run according to instructions.
- Strong learning curve.
- Requires tech-savvy skills and has its own scripting language, Deluge, similar to Python.
- Very expensive and the first tier only allows one custom app.
- The highest plan only has 5GB of storage.
One of the best project management tools for team workloads is ClickUp. Their software offers advanced work views, collaboration, automation and reporting options. Teams can streamline business processes with automation, monitor progress in dynamic views and manage employee resources with workload profiles in reporting.
- Free forever: Free with unlimited tasks, and members.
- Unlimited: $7 user/month, billed annually, or $10 user/month, billed monthly.
- Business: $12 user/month, billed annually, or $19 user/month, billed monthly.
- Enterprise: scaled for large teams, see sales.
- Multiple work views, including Gantt charts, mind maps, workloads, lists, calendars and more.
- Ensure business processes follow through with set task dependencies, basic and advanced automation and custom statuses.
- Reporting for milestones, sprints, workloads and time tracking.
- Over 50 native integrations, along with access to Zapier and Tableau Web Connector.
- Free plan accesses a selection of all ClickUp features and even basic automation.
- More affordable than dedicated BPM tools can still handle complex needs.
- Two-factor authentication for all tiers.
- Limited security and compliance options outside of the Enterprise plan.
- Limits across all tiers for automation, integrations and reporting.
For more information, read the full ClickUp review .
One of the best business management solutions is monday work management. The software offers teams automation, reporting and productivity features to stay on task. You can track task dependencies, monitor activity logs and visualize data in multiple views like charts and graphs.
- Free: Free for 2 seats, 3 boards and unlimited docs.
- Basic: $8 user/month, billed annually, or $24 user/month, billed monthly.
- Standard: $10 user/month, billed annually, or $30 user/month, billed monthly.
- Pro: $16 user/month, billed annually, or $48 user/month, billed monthly.
- Enterprise: Advanced automation and security, see sales to learn more.
- Multiple work views for kanban, map, timeline, calendar and chart.
- Tools to stay focused, like time tracking, workload reporting, custom notifications and task dependency columns to visualize important relationships between tasks.
- Tools for collaboration like brainstorming whiteboard, guest users and real-time updates.
- Storage from 5GB to 1000GB in paid subscriptions.
- Advanced performance analytics in Enterprise tier.
- All paid plans have 24/7 support and access to live webinars.
- Two-factor authentication in all plans.
- Advanced security and most admin features in Enterprise tier.
- Automation and integrations are limited to Standard plan and up.
For more information, read the full monday review .
nTask is an affordable project management tool with an abundance of features to meet dynamic needs. They offer time management, multiple work views, remote collaboration and unlimited workspaces. You can track a variety of factors around business princesses while ensuring team progress.
- Basic: Free for 5 users with unlimited tasks and workspaces.
- Premium: $3 user/month, billed annually, or $4 user/month, billed monthly.
- Business: $8 user/month, billed annually, or $12 user/month, billed monthly.
- Enterprise: Offers advanced features and security, see sales for more.
- Multiple work views including list, grid, calendar, kanban and Gantt charts.
- Time tracking, timesheets and time estimates for project insights.
- User management, custom roles and task dependencies to ensure workflows are managed.
- Paid plans start with 5GB storage and go up to 100GB.
- Support features like 24/7 chat, onboarding, training and dedicated account managers depending on the plan.
- Teams can easily manage important processes with budget tracking, issue tracking and risk management.
- 24/7 support for all plans.
- All plans can access integrations, like Microsoft and Google Workspaces, as well as Zapier to extend available connections.
- The Basic and Premium tiers miss out on a lot of advanced features like dependencies and budget tracking.
- Extended onboarding and training are only included in the Enterprise tier.
For more information, read the full nTask review .
Jira Work Management is a great solution for managing projects and complex business processes. You can use it for automation, data visualization, task management and reporting. Teams will absolutely be able to gain insights and manage business processes. Their Free plan has stacked capabilities to effectively use the tool for work or get a taste of the platform before buying.
If you’re looking to buy a paid subscription for less than 10 users, then you need a monthly plan. Annual pricing is for buying a minimum of 10 licenses that you can fill right away or expect to fill that year.
- Free: Allows 3 guests and unlimited customers.
- Standard: $5 user/month, billed annually, or $500 user/month, billed monthly.
- Premium: $10 user/month, billed annually, or $1,000 user/month, billed monthly.
- Work views such as timeline, list, calendar, board and summaries.
- Forms, business project templates and collaborative editing to improve content management.
- Reporting for status, statistics, progress and tasks.
- Automation for recurring tasks and bulk actions.
- Project roles and dependency management.
- Advanced security, like IP listing permissions.
- Storage starts at 2GB for Free which is more than most apps, and goes up to 250 GB in the next plan up.
- Ability to add branding and customize workflows in the Free plan.
- Encryption, disaster recovery and mobile device management in all plan tiers.
- Annual plans require 10 licenses and are very pricey for small teams.
- The learning curve to learn all the software capabilities.
For more information on Jira in general, read the full Jira Software review .
Key features of business process management
Business process management encompasses a variety of factors, but to find a great software, we’ve narrowed down some criteria to get started. Not every feature will be important to you, but most of them are offered by great BPM solutions.
One of the best ways to improve business processes is to streamline repetitive but important tasks by automating them. This way, you also ensure tasks will be completed either through automated alerts, scheduled meetings or reports. If you can sideline it to the conveyor belt, you can spend that time on harder tasks.
You can’t manage business processes if they aren’t completed in the right order. Task dependencies ensure teams know to wait on task delivery before moving on to the next phase. Some tools allow you to look at all dependent tasks in one place, and it can help you gain a deeper understanding of how your team functions.
Another important way to get insight into how your team functions is detailed reporting for progress, performance, time, budget, risks and more. While it sounds obvious, a good part of BPM is analysis. Knowing your work from different perspectives will help you understand critical parts that may not be obvious.
For example, a team might switch to software without color-coded notifications and automated scheduling and suddenly find their team interprets notifications wrong and forgets to schedule important meetings. It’s actually really hard to know which small parts of your workflow are integral. That’s why, through reporting, you can pay attention to changes in progress after switching software or trying a new work style.
We all know that time is everything, but when it comes to BPM it’s an indicator for performance. If you’re able to optimize the time spent on workflow, then you can make room to rearrange your work model and consider new opportunities.
Time tracking and estimations can help you predict, measure and analyze your team from all sorts of perspectives. For example, if approvals average one to three months but the time it takes to actually do them is an hour, it means your managers are overbooked.
While work visualizations are one of the more common project management features, they are for a big reason. With in-depth views like Gantt charts for timelines and due dates, management teams can stay on track. Filtering through work progress, employee status, milestones and deadlines is also important for decision-making. Your team can’t operate cohesively if they can’t take each other’s needs into account.
How do I choose the best business process management software for my business?
When looking for a BPM solution, you need to know exactly what you want to manage. You can choose a solution advertised for business process management systems or find project management and work management tools with advanced automation, reporting and data visualization.
Maybe you don’t know what processes you want to analyze, monitor, improve or streamline. Software with advanced reporting can give you a macro view of your business workflow and future needs.
Tools like Asana, monday, ClickUp and Jira all have great reporting options. You can also use them for project management while you take your time to look for points of improvement in your team. It’s a huge benefit to ask your team about any issues or processes that feel outdated.
You may find you need something you can personalize, so Zoho Creator will be worth considering, but it’s very expensive. nTask will also be great for testing out for time, budget and risk processes you want to dive into.
Many of the business process management systems on this list have free plans you can test out before making a big purchase. We highly recommend taking advantage of that before committing to several months of onboarding.
The software were chosen according to whether or not they had important features for BPM such as tools for monitoring, tracking and reporting. Anything to give businesses a deeper understanding of how they operate. From there, having features to help make changes and improve current workflows is important. Each software on this list has tools to learn and make needed changes.
Cost and whether or not they had free plans were also considered. BPM features tend to be advanced and can get very costly, but most of the solutions listed have a free version. Popularity with users and intuitive learning were also considered, but with the understanding that feature-rich solutions will all have some sort of a learning curve.
Subscribe to the Project Management Insider Newsletter
Subscribe to Project Management Insider for best practices, reviews and resources. From project scheduling software to project planning apps, stay up to date with the latest in project management tools. Delivered Wednesdays
- The 10 best project management software and tools for 2023 (TechRepublic)
- The best simple project management software of 2023 (TechRepublic)
- 5 Best Project Management Certifications in 2023 (TechRepublic)
- Telephone interview cheat sheet: Project manager (TechRepublic Premium)
- See all of Zara's content
- Project Management
TechRepublic Premium Editorial Calendar: Policies, Checklists, Hiring Kits and Glossaries for Download
TechRepublic Premium content helps you solve your toughest IT issues and jump-start your career or next project.
7 Best AI Art Generators of 2023
This is a comprehensive list of the best AI art generators. Explore the advanced technology that transforms imagination into stunning artworks.
The Best Cheap Payroll Services for 2023
Find the perfect payroll service for your business without breaking the bank. Discover the top cheap payroll services, features, pricing and pros and cons.
NordVPN Review (2023): Pricing, Security & Performance
Is NordVPN worth it? How much does it cost and is it safe to use? Read our NordVPN review to learn about pricing, features, security, and more.
Best Free Project Management Software for 2023
Free project management software provides flexibility for managing projects without paying a cent. Check out our list of the top free project management tools.
Cloud Strategies Are Facing a New Era of Strain in Australia, New Zealand
Australian and New Zealand enterprises in the public cloud are facing pressure to optimize cloud strategies due to a growth in usage and expected future demand, including for artificial intelligence use cases.
Vendor Management and Selection Policy
Because vendors supply the organization with critical supplies, goods, products, services and maintenance, and because these components possess a direct material impact on the organization’s success, all organization employees and representatives are subject to the vendor management and selection policy. The policy applies to all organization requests for proposals, bids, contracts, purchases and orders of ...
Hiring Kit: Technical Sales Engineer
Unlike consumer-level selling, completing B2B business transactions, especially when technological innovation is involved, often requires the cultivation of an intricate and complicated customer relationship. Merely having the best product or service is not enough. Someone must show the customer or client how that product or service will solve both their current and future problems. To ...
Quick Glossary: Software Development
Software is the lifeblood of businesses today. Tech has come out to be a solid differentiator, with faster product delivery being a make-or-break moment for any organization. TechRepublic Premium presents this quick glossary of key concepts to help your understanding. From the glossary: Integrated development environment An IDE is a one-stop software application for developers ...
- TechRepublic on Twitter
- TechRepublic on Facebook
- TechRepublic on LinkedIn
- TechRepublic on Flipboard
- Property of TechnologyAdvice
Create a TechRepublic Account
Get the web's best business technology news, tutorials, reviews, trends, and analysis—in your inbox. Let's start with the basics.
* - indicates required fields
Sign in to TechRepublic
Lost your password? Request a new password
Please enter your email adress. You will receive an email message with instructions on how to reset your password.
Check your email for a password reset link. If you didn't receive an email don't forgot to check your spam folder, otherwise contact support .
Welcome. Tell us a little bit about you.
This will help us provide you with customized content.
Want to receive more TechRepublic news?
You're all set.
Thanks for signing up! Keep an eye out for a confirmation email from our team. To ensure any newsletters you subscribed to hit your inbox, make sure to add [email protected] to your contacts list.
7 Best Business Plan Software for Startups in 2023
- Service Reviews
- Best Business Plan Software
Last Updated: November 3, 2023 By TRUiC Team
Launching a new startup is an exciting yet challenging endeavor. Crafting a comprehensive business plan is a critical first step for any founder to outline their vision, objectives, and strategy. It acts as a roadmap to help guide important decisions and next steps as a company grows.
With so many options available, finding the right business planning tool can be daunting. The best software should be affordable, user-friendly, and offer a robust set of features to aid in financial modeling, strategic planning, and more.
In this review, we'll explore some of the top business plan software solutions designed specifically for entrepreneurs. We'll compare capabilities, ease of use, templates and resources, integrations, pricing, and more. Whether you’re looking to create an investor-ready plan or simply organize your strategy, choosing the right tool can help you get started on the right foot.
Best Business Plan Software for Startups: LivePlan
Top Business Plan Software Solutions
In this review, we'll look at seven of the best business plan software platforms — discussing their pros, cons, features, pricing, and more — so you can decide which one is right for your startup.
Best Business Plan Software for Startups 2023:
- LivePlan - Best Overall
- Bizplan - Easiest to Use
- Enloop - Best Automation Features
- PlanGuru - Best Financial Forecasting
- IdeaBuddy - Best for Idea Validation
- iPlanner - Best for Nonprofits
- Wise Business Plans - Best Professional Services
The following tools all have their own great features. Based on its affordable pricing and usability, LivePlan is our top business plan software choice for startups.
Try LivePlan today or continue reading to explore your options!
Best Business Plan Software: LivePlan
LivePlan is the overall best business plan tool, offering a large number of features at an affordable price.
1. LivePlan - $15/month to $30/month
We love LivePlan overall because it offers great value at an affordable cost. The software lets you quickly create a business plan from anywhere in the world using what is arguably the best business plan software available on the market. It does everything better than its competition and costs way less.
What’s more, the online “cloud-based” platform is easy to use and you are under no contract or obligation to keep paying for the service. Even better, if you decide to stop service for whatever reason, Palo Alto Software, the makers of LivePlan, will keep your account active and data preserved for at least a year should you decide to reactivate your account later.
- Create an unlimited number of business plans
- A forecast feature for those less mathematically inclined. Plug in data, and it will generate charts, graphs, figures, and even the profit and loss, balance sheet, and cash flow statements
- 500+ business plan templates spanning all major industries
- Real-time financial data tracking
- Performance dashboards track sales and budgeting
- Create one-page pitch plans for potential investors
- Milestone scheduling feature — Some people will use it when working with others on their plan; it will let you assign milestones to people.
- Low-cost annual plans
- Affordable pay-as-you-go plans
- No cancellation fees
- Data saved for 12-months, even after cancellation
- Clean, modern platform
- Cloud-based; works on any business machine (Linus, Windows, Mac)
- Integrates with Quickbooks and Xero to import your data easily
- Knowledgeable customer support to get help with your plan
- No valuation capabilities
- Templates built on Palo Alto Software’s earlier software Business Plan Pro require some modifications to be used on LivePlan
Talking to the nice people at LivePlan we learned some inside information that we wanted to share with our readers.
Here's what we learned:
- LivePlan has been used by contestants on ABC's hit show "Shark Tank" to win over angel investors to help them get their ideas and businesses funded.
- Accountants use LivePlan as an added-value service to sell to their clients.
- Businesses continue using LivePlan because of a feature called “Dashboard” which lets you manually enter your actuals or pull actuals from Quickbooks online to do comparative forecasting and analysis.
- LivePlan helps with business continuity planning (BCP).
- LivePlan executives use LivePlan to make important business decisions.
- "Dashboard" does profit and loss, cash flow, and balance sheet reports and lets you compare and contrast your actuals from your forecasts to be able to show to investors.
- LivePlan lets you create business plans in 1/5th the time it takes using templates.
LivePlan receives great feedback from customers. LivePlan reviews average 4.5 stars out of 5 on GetApp. LivePlan is an easy company for us to recommend for the best business plan software.
2. Bizplan - $29/month, $249/year, $349 lifetime
Bizplan rates high on our list because they offer a lifetime plan that gets you "forever access" to their business plan software. As an added bonus, you also receive free access to Startup Courses and LaunchRock, a landing page builder.
- Easy, "fill-in-the-blanks" plan builder
- Publish your business plan online
- Unlimited business plans
- Bizplan takes care of the financials
- Cloud-based (use any browser on any computer)
- Options to add more graphics and photos
- Low-cost yearly plans
- Create unlimited business plans
- Xero to import your data easily
- Excellent and responsive customer support (email/chat/phone)
- Free access to Startup.com and LaunchRock.com
- Discount at Fundable.com (connect with lenders and investors)
- Can't export in Word
- Doesn't currently integrate with QuickBooks
- No free trial
- No third-party app integrations
Talking with BizPlan insiders, we learned that the premise behind BizPlan is to help startups easily create professional business plans to give them a leg-up with lenders and investors.
Here's what else we learned:
- BizPlan's does all your financial calculations for you.
- BizPlan strives to be an all-in-one solution for Startups needing funding.
- BizPlan is constantly making improvements to its software.
BizPlan receives great feedback from customers. BizPlan reviews average 4.4 stars out of 5 on GetApp. Still a relatively new option, BizPlan already has over 30,000 satisfied customers. As their platform grows, we wouldn’t be surprised to see them integrate even more valuable features. Keep a close eye on this one.
3. Enloop - Free to $39.95/month
If you’re looking to try before you buy, Enloop is a strong choice as one of the only business planning software tools with a free trial.
- User-friendly platform
- Compare your financials against your industry's performance
- Bank ready financial statements (Profit and Loss, Balance Sheet, Cash flow)
- Lets multiple team members work on a business plan
- 36-Month detailed financial reports
- Sync date and text into your business plan
- Real-time performance rating
- Generated business plan Pass/Fail report
- Multiple currency formatting
- Seven-day free trial (no credit card required)
- Advanced financial ratios
- Financial projections
- Video tutorials to help you with the writing process
- No phone or chat support, just a "contact us" form.
- Three business plan limit per account
- Doesn't integrate with QuickBooks or Xero
- No financial forecasts beyond 36-months
- No 30-day money-back guarantee
We learned that the premise behind Enloop is to make business planning easier for entrepreneurs. Enloop achieves this by making software simple to navigate through and takes risks off the table with their no credit card needed seven-day free trial. Their business plan creation software offers financial forecasting features for up to 36 months.
- Enloop utilizes 16 financial ratios to get your business ready for investors.
- Enloop offers some sample business plans that are easy to modify.
- Enloop's performance score increases as you create your detailed plan.
- A new business or small businesses benefit the most from Enloop's solutions.
Enloop receives fair feedback from customers. Enloop's reviews average 3 stars out of 5 on PCMag. Enloop's main complaint is its lack of instructional text for writing mission statements and other key sections. What they rank high on is their efficiency and the speed at which the software lets you write a business plan.
Even beyond the free version, Enloop Basic is just $9.95/month ($6/month when paid annually), so they’re one of the least expensive tools for writing a business plan.
4. PlanGuru - $99/month to $299/month
PlanGuru is a good option if you’re looking for considerably more robust software that offers quite a bit more. The most notable feature we like is the valuation tool, only present on the desktop version of the software. PlanGuru lets you calculate the valuation of your business using three different methods. No other business plan software offers this that we know of.
PlanGuru also offers budgeting, forecasting, and performance tools to help you put together a business plan. In the main, PlanGuru allows you to get a custom-tailored three financial statement budget model up and running out of QuickBooks or Xero in a matter of minutes. PlanGuru's business plan writing software takes you through a setup process where it asks you questions such as:
- What's the first month of your fiscal year?
- How many historical years do you want to import?
And, once you answer these questions, PlanGuru then generates a model for you that you can then populate with your historical data if you have it. Then you can go through PlanGuru's 20+ projection methods.
Some financial data projection methods include:
- Expenses, like payroll, etc.
- Balance sheet items, like accounts receivable, accounts payable, crude expenses, prepaid expenses, loans, etc.
These are only a few of the features the business plan software offers. Here are some more.
- Budgeting/Forecasting Software
- Analytics Service for Financial Performance & KPIs
- Valuation calculations (desktop software only)
- Desktop and cloud-based options
- Free 14-day trial and 30-day money-back guarantee
- Great customer support and knowledgeable sales staff
- Lower-cost yearly plans offered
- Advanced financial calculations
- Business valuation calculations
- No contracts
- Integrates with QuickBooks and Xero
- Costlier than LivePlan and most other business plan software options
- Additional cost per user can add up quickly
The great thing about PlanGuru is that the only thing you have to worry about is the income statement and balance sheet projections because the cash flow statement is automatically generated.
Then once you have the cash flow statement, income statement, and balance sheet in place, you can then lock down the budget.
- PlanGuru's desktop version has three different types of valuation methods that calculate the worth of your business.
- PlanGuru has some really nice reporting tools that pull together your financial statements into table formats, say, for the bank, line-by-line.
- PlanGuru also has some nice charts, graphs, scorecards, and some easily digestible reports that can help you visualize how your company is performing.
- Exports to Excel, PDF, and Word documents --and, there's even a tool that lets you create customized reports.
- You can print your plan off too to show partners, lenders, and investors.
- PlanGuru now offers a cloud-based version of its software, though it will take some time to catch up to the rich features offered by the current desktop software version.
- With PlanGuru you also get free updates, bug fixes, and new releases as they become available.
Important Note: These tools are important because investors may want to see not only historical performance but also projections.
5. IdeaBuddy - Free to $35/month
IdeaBuddy makes our list because of what's behind their approach. IdeaBuddy focuses on helping entrepreneurs develop their idea first, then share it, and then refine it into a plan. If you have a business idea and don't know what to do next, IdeaBuddy could be what you're looking for in a business plan software.
- Single-page business plan pitch (Idea plan)
- Clean modern design platform combined with great financial tools
- Marketing plan for selling and promoting your products
- Market overview plan where you create targeted customer profiles, identify your competition and calculate the market potential
- Business plan creation that includes forecasting performance and cash flow projections
- A proprietary algorithm calculates a final score for your idea providing recommendations for improvement after you complete "Story Mode"
- Idea Journal, that is an internal business plan for you to show potential investors
- A lifetime plan costs only $178
- Great for developing ideas
- Great for doing market research
- Pay-as-you-go plans offered
- Email-only customer service
- Software lag time issues
- Fewer software options than most other small business options
IdeaBuddy has some great features that are fantastic from idea conceptualization down to cost projections and the laying out of steps to take to start a business. We would have liked, however, to been given more KPIs that would notify us of tasks, help with idea validation, and help us measure other objectives to better monitor the health of our business. Another thing lacking was the design of the finished plan--it contained some noticeable structural issues.
IdeaBuddy has received some outstanding customer reviews on GetApp. IdeaBuddy has earned a 4.6-star rating out of 5 possible stars.
6. iPlanner - Starts at $55/year
iPlanner is a comprehensive business plan software that has been aiding entrepreneurs since 2007, providing a robust framework for developing business plans, models, and financial forecasts online.
- Unlimited Team Members & Collaboration
- A La Carte Pricing Model vs Packages
- Discounts for Serial Entrepreneurs & Business Coaches
- Solid amount of industry knowledge and experience.
- They've got two trademarked business planning services, Startup Framework™ and Strategy Designer™
- All of their business planning packages allow you to have unlimited collaborators and assign people three different roles: Project Owners, Advisors, and Viewers.
- Their Startup Framework software has a business modeling section where you can design a business model canvas and strategize as much as you need before diving into your plan.
- Doesn't have a month-to-month option for either of their services. Their Strategy Designer is payable only annually, while their Startup Framework is available for 3-month, 6-month, or 12-month payments.
- They don't offer refunds
- Their website is pretty old school and tough to navigate.
- Unlike other business planning software, iPlanner doesn't offer a free version or trial. However, you can take a tour of their Startup Framework software or view a demo of the Strategy Designer to get a feel for them.
iPlanner's Business Planning Software
If a simple framework is all you're looking for, iPlanner can help you out. They don't have many bells and whistles, but at these price points, they offer a good value for nonprofits and corporations.
7. Wise Business Plans - Pricing by Request
Wise business plans website is a little confusing to navigate, and pricing is by request only, which can get frustrating. They do have a lot of options for different kinds of business plans for various types of business types, which makes them versatile. They also have business building and funding options as well. And, if you wish to establish business credit, they offer net-30 accounts that get reported to Equifax business.
- Claim to be the only business plan company to write for Fortune 100 and 500 companies
- Business formation services
- Business license searches
- EIN services
- Digital marketing services
- Business website design and branding
- Has a lot of helpful information
- Helpful options for forming your business
- Options to help after you start your business
- Helps small businesses establish business credit
- Not an actual business plan software
- Expensive by comparison
- Website is difficult to navigate
- Pricing is by request only
- Limited products and features
- Turnaround is one month
- Requires some work on your end
Business Plan Software Pros and Cons
- By using business plan software providers, you’ll be able to create a solid outline for your business. Although some of the options above are better than others, each will walk you through from start to finish.
- No matter how you look at it, business plan software is cost-effective. As long as you actually use the tool, you’ll generate significantly more value than you’re spending on monthly subscription fees.
- If you spend the time to create a solid plan, you’re much more likely to hold yourself accountable. Think of planning software like an accountability buddy for entrepreneurship.
- Your business plan tool will help set realistic financial goals, and most can also keep your bottom line in check by integrating your accounting software.
- Business planning software enables you to collaborate with partners, mentors and investors.
- Some of the business plan tools don’t offer support and can have slightly buggy features. That said, if you’re serious about writing a solid plan, go with a tool that’s constantly updated and well made.
- Although some business plan tools have a collaboration feature, none of them can review it when you’re done. All business planning tools lack a human touch.
How to Choose the Right Business Plan Software
With the array of business planning tools available, it can be daunting to select the right one for your needs. Here are some tips for choosing a business plan software solution:
- Consider your skill level – Opt for software like a wizard-guided template if you are less experienced in writing plans. Choose more advanced software with greater flexibility once you know what you are doing. Look for drag-and-drop tools to easily organize sections.
- Determine your budget – Prices range from free to several hundred dollars. Know how much you can spend before shopping.
- Compare features – Look for software with the specific tools you need, like financial projections, sample text, customizable templates, and more.
- Evaluate the financial tool capabilities – The software should provide extensive financial tools like forecasting, modeling, projections, and dashboards to streamline financial planning.
- Check reviews and ratings – Get feedback from other users about their experience with the software. High reviews indicate easier, more user-friendly software.
Which Is the Best Business Plan Software?
You know the unique requirements of your startup better than we do. These are all quality services that offer business planning software tools for entrepreneurs like you. Feel free to read over our full reviews if you’d like to know more about any of them or even visit the websites directly.
In general, we do prefer LivePlan because they have a huge library of business plan templates, and we love their convenient dashboard. They're the planning software that is most likely to help you via customer support, continue updating their tool, and figure out ways to make your business experience better. Enjoy!
What is the purpose of a business plan?
The purpose of a business plan is to provide a structured outline and roadmap for a business's goals, strategies, and operations. It serves as a guide for decision-making, resource allocation, and management.
Furthermore, it can be a crucial tool for attracting investors, securing loans, and ensuring that all stakeholders have a clear understanding of the business's direction and objectives.
What does business plan software do?
Business plan software assists entrepreneurs and businesses in creating, organizing, and refining their business plans. It provides tools, templates, and guidance to streamline the planning process.
Features often include financial forecasting, market analysis, visual aids like charts and graphs, collaboration capabilities, and even integration with other business tools. This software aims to simplify the task of creating a thorough and professional business plan.
How do you write a business plan?
To write a business plan, start by writing an executive summary that provides an overview of your business idea, products/services, market opportunity, and projected growth. Outline your company description, industry analysis, target customers, competitive advantage, marketing and sales plans, operations, management team, and financial projections.
How long should a business plan be?
The length can vary based on the complexity of the business, its stage, and its intended audience. In general, it might range from 15-50 pages. However, the key is to ensure that the plan is comprehensive yet concise.
For many situations, especially when seeking investment, a more detailed one is preferable. Yet, for internal purposes or for businesses at very early stages, a shorter, more concise plan might suffice.
Are there business plan templates on Word?
Yes, Microsoft Word has business plan templates you can download and customize. The templates provide section headings, instructions, sample text, and tables to input your specific business information.
What is Palo Alto Software?
Palo Alto Software is a company that's been around since the late 1980s. They created business management software for startups and existing businesses. The software has since been updated and rebranded as LivePlan and today happens to be one of the most sought-after business plan software available in the marketplace.
Individual Business Plan Reviews
What Is a Business Plan?
Lean Startup Business Plan Guide
How to Write a Business Plan
You Can Get TurboTax for 21% Off Right Now
Plan your 2023 tax filing now, and save some money while you're at it..
Tax day 2024 is not until Mon, Apr 15, 2024, and also right around the corner. The luxury of time doesn’t mean you should wait until the last minute to figure out how you’re going to file your 2023 taxes—especially when you can save some money if you plan ahead.
Right now, Amazon is selling TurboTax 2023 Tax Software for up to 21% off. You can get help filing your federal and state taxes on Windows or Mac, and for your home or your business. Here are your options.
File your taxes easier and cheaper with these TurboTax deals
Filing taxes can be a messy and complicated task, and can get costly if you are eligible for one of the free filing options. But there are programs out there to help you make it easier. TurboTax has earned PCMag’s Editors’ Choice award for many years for making the process more user-friendly than most competitors. The program guides you through your taxes and explains simple and complex tax concepts in a way most people can understand.
These Amazon deals net you a TurboTax software download for up to 21% off. Depending on whether you’re a business owner, need to file federal and state taxes, or just federal taxes, you’ll can find the right software program for your needs.
- If you need to file federal and state taxes : TurboTax Deluxe with State is meant to maximize the deductions for those who need to file federal and state taxes. You’ll be able to import your W-2s, investments, and mortgage information, as well as TurboTax data from your 2022 return. You have a cap of five electronic filings of federal tax returns and one electronic state tax return filing. TurboTax recommends this option for homeowners who have made charitable donations or have high medical expenses. Get it for $55.99 (normally $69.99).
- If you only need to file federal taxes: TurboTax Deluxe is the same software as the Deluxe with State, except it doesn’t include the one electronic state tax return filing. You can get it for $47.99 (normally $59.99).
- If your finances are complex : TurboTax Premier is for those who have more unusual tax complications, like selling stocks, bonds or mutual funds, selling employee stocks, owning rental property, or having a trust beneficiary. You’ll get the same help and features as the Deluxe with the addition of investment and rental income guidance. You’ll get five electronic filings of federal tax returns and one electronic state tax return filing. The Premier also includes an IRA tool to show you how to get more money back. Get it for $82.99 (normally $104.99).
- If you’re self-employed or have a small business : TurboTax Home & Business is for people who are self-employed, such as independent contractors, freelancers, small business owners, sole proprietors and consultants. The program can create W-2s and 1099 tax forms if you have employees or contractors in your business. You’ll also get five electronic filings of federal tax returns and one electronic state tax return filing. You get the same features as the Premier version with the addition of self-employed guidance and help to maximize small business deductions. Get it for $95.99 (normally $119.99)
- If own a business : TurboTax Business is for people who have a partnership, own an S or C Corporation, have a Multi-Member LLC, manage a trust or estate, or need to file a separate tax return for their business. The program can create W-2s and 1099 tax forms for employees and contractors. You’ll also get five electronic filings of federal tax returns (the state tax return can be downloaded separately for an additional charge). You get the same features as the Home & Business version but instead of the 1040 forms and schedule Cs, you’ll get guidance on forms 1065, 11120S, 1120, and 1041. Get it for $143.99 (normally $179.99).
- Credit cards
- View all credit cards
- Banking guide
- Loans guide
- Insurance guide
- Personal finance
- View all personal finance
- Investing + Retirement
- Small business
- View all small business
You’re our first priority. Every time.
We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence. And while our site doesn’t feature every company or financial product available on the market, we’re proud that the guidance we offer, the information we provide and the tools we create are objective, independent, straightforward — and free.
So how do we make money? Our partners compensate us. This may influence which products we review and write about (and where those products appear on the site), but it in no way affects our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in thousands of hours of research. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services. Here is a list of our partners .
5 Best Business Plan Software in 2022
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .
When you’re starting a business, developing a strong business plan will be one of the first steps you take. Your business plan will cover everything from a detailed explanation of your products or services and pricing model to at least three years of financial projections—plus much more. Therefore, whether you’re not sure how to get started or you’re just looking to make the process easier, you may want to turn to business plan software for help.
In this guide, we'll break down five of the best business plan software options—discussing their pros, cons, features, pricing, and more—so you have all the information you need to decide which solution is right for your small business.
The 5 best business plan software options
The right business plan software will make the process of writing your business plan much simpler. Like many business software solutions, however, there are a number of different business plan software options out there—each of which has a unique set of features, user experience, and price.
This being said, if you're looking for a place to start your search for the best business plan software, you can explore the five top options below:
Best overall business plan software.
If you want template-rich, modern-feeling business plan software, then LivePlan may be the right pick for you. LivePlan excels with their user interface, which feels updated and slick, and also offers intuitive, easy-to-use features and options.
Their step-by-step instruction will help you kick things off from the beginning, and you can take advantage of their online learning center to continue to gain business skills.
Affordable plans, including pay-as-you-go option
No long-term contracts or cancellation fee; 60-day money-back guarantee
Modern, intuitive interface; cloud-based, can be used on Mac, PC, as well as tablets
Ability to create unlimited plans in one account; over 500 customizable templates
Variety of business resources including video tutorials, step-by-step instruction, and general customer support
Limited integration options
Challenging to enter your own financial modeling projections
Can be difficult to learn
Ability to create an unlimited number of business plans on one account
More than 500 business plan templates spanning various industries
Integration with Xero and QuickBooks Online
Real-time tracking of financial data with accounting integrations
Ability to export your business plan to Word or PDF
Expert advice and step-by-step instruction included
Performance dashboards for tracking against budgets and sales goals
Ability to create and export a one-page pitch executive summary
Annual plan: $15 per month, billed every 12 months
Six-month plan: $18 per month, billed every six months
Pay-as-you-go plan: $20 per month, billed once every month
Best for multiple business management tools in one platform.
Next on our list of the best business plan software options is GoSmallBiz, which is much more than just a business plan software. With GoSmallBiz, you have access to business continuity planning software with features that cover creating a roadmap, working through business and legal forms, building a website, and more.
In this way, GoSmallBiz is great for startups or newer businesses looking to access multiple business management tools through one platform.
Unlimited business consultation and extensive library of online resources
Multiple business tools in one software
Website consultation analysis and business assessment
Industry-specific business plan templates with emphasis on financial projections and statements
Expensive monthly cost compared to alternatives
Limited business plan features
Entire business plan can only be exported to Microsoft Word
Industry-specific business plan templates with step-by-step building wizard
Ability to create financial statements and projections
Free website hosting and website builder
Customer relationship manager with integration with MailChimp
Digital marketing dashboard with social media and Google Analytics integrations
HR document builder
Corporate minutes writer
Business documents library
Business courses library
Unlimited business consultation
$39 per month, no contracts, free cancellation
Best for simple, fast business plan creation.
If you're looking for free business plan software, Enloop will be one of your closest options—they offer an all-inclusive seven-day free trial, no credit card required. Additionally, unlike some of the other options on our list, Enloop is strictly dedicated to business plan creation, including automated text writing, financial forecast comparisons, and a real-time performance score that tracks your progress.
This being said, if you'd prefer the most straightforward, fast, and simple way to write your business plan, Enloop will be a platform worth considering.
Simple and straightforward software, solely dedicated to business plan creation
Seven-day free trial
Automatic text generation available to streamline the writing process
Affordable plans with annual discount option
Limited additional educational resources
Only one template option
No integration options
Ability to create three business plans with customizable text, images, tables, charts, and over 100 currency symbols and formats
Includes automatic text generation for each plan section that you can then customize
Automatically generated financial statements
Includes financial performance comparison analysis (using three ratios with Detailed plan and 16 with Performance plan)
Real-time performance score to track your progress
Ability to invite users to edit (two with Detailed plan, five with Performance plan)
Pass/fail report and certificate to help you identify issues with your plan
Free plan: Seven-day free trial with no credit card required
Detailed plan: $19.95 per month or $11 per month, paid annually
Performance plan: $39.95 per month, or $24 per month, paid annually
Best for startups looking to acquire funding or find investors.
Part of the Startups.com suite, Bizplan gets top marks for their user interface—it’s intuitive, easy to use, and modern. You’ll work with a step-by-step business plan builder to get exactly what you’d like from your business plan. It may remind you of a modern website builder, since it has drag-and-drop tools to build templates.
Moreover, for one subscription fee, you have access to all of the tools in the Startups.com network, including self-guided courses, how-to guides, masterclass videos, and more. All in all, with a direct connection to Fundable, Bizplan is a top business plan software option for startups looking to acquire funding and find investors.
Subscription gives you access to all Startups.com tools
Lifetime access subscription option
User-friendly drag-and-drop business plan builder
Excellent educational resources
Connection to Fundable great for businesses looking for capital
No free trial
No templates based on industry
No mobile access
Drag-and-drop templates for business plan building
Financial command center to track all business financials in one place
Unlimited account collaborators
Ability to share business plan online with investors
Online resources including self-guided courses, masterclass videos, how-to guides, mentorship access
Unlimited software use for Fundable, Launchrock, and Startups.com
Monthly plan: $29 per month
Annual plan: $20.75 per month, billed at $249 per year
Lifetime access: $349 one-time fee
Best for financial planning and budgeting.
Finally, for some of the strongest financial features among business plan software options, including budgeting and forecasting, you might check out PlanGuru. Whereas the other solutions we've reviewed were first and foremost focused on writing a business plan, PlanGuru is dedicated to business financial planning —providing the tools you need to create budgets, financial forecasts, reports, and more.
Therefore, if you need a software solution that can streamline the financial piece of your business planning processes, PlanGuru will certainly have the most to offer.
Extensive financial tools and detailed forecasting, budgeting, and reporting capabilities
Substantial library of resources
Cloud-based and desktop options
14-day free trial and 30-day money-back guarantee
Expensive, especially for additional users
Only focuses on the financial aspect of business planning; no templates or tools for basic business plan writing
Difficult to use without prior financial knowledge
Cloud-based version of software, as well as locally installed Windows version (desktop version has a few more features)
Works with QuickBooks Online, Xero, and Excel
Budgeting and forecasting for up to 10 years
Over 20 standard forecasting methods
Formula builder to create custom methods
Ratios and KPIs
Dashboard and reporting tools
Help guides, video tutorials, knowledgebase, and live U.S.-based customer support
14-day free trial
$99 per month (additional users $29 per month)
$899 per year (additional users $299 per year)
What to look for in business plan software
Ultimately, it's up to you to decide, which, if any, of the best business plan software solutions on our list is right for your business.
So, if you're trying to figure out how to choose between the various options out there, it might be helpful to compare your top choices based on the following criteria:
Features: As we've seen different business plan software solutions offer different features. You'll want to look carefully at the feature list of any software and determine what features are most important for your business needs. Do you need an extensive library of templates with detailed customization? Would you prefer software that includes an online learning center for business skills? Are you looking for a solution that combines business plan writing with other tasks? It may be useful to list out your ideal feature set, so you can compare individual software plans to that list.
Price: Although you might be able to find some free business plan software options (or at the very least, free trials), in most cases, you'll need to pay a subscription fee to access the platform you choose. Therefore, you'll want to think about what your budget is for this business tool and what type of software is most cost-effective for your needs.
User experience: User experience can vary widely among different business plan software options. You’ll find some programs that are newer or have been recently updated. Others might have the kind of interfaces that felt new years ago but are now pretty out of date—and, subsequently, make them a little harder to use. The right user experience for your needs is genuinely a matter of opinion and comfort—nevertheless, it's worth testing thoroughly testing out a platform to ensure that it can truly work for you before investing in a monthly or annual subscription.
The bottom line
There's no doubt that properly crafting your business plan is important for the future growth and success of your small business. Luckily, the right business plan software should make the process much simpler.
This being said, whether you opt for one of the best business plan software options listed here, or another platform entirely, you'll want to take the time to compare multiple solutions and ensure you choose the one that's right for your business.
As we mentioned, it can be helpful to think about the features you're looking for, your budget, and your user-experience preferences ahead of time—that way, you'll have a set of criteria in mind as you explore different solutions.
Ultimately, perhaps the best thing you can do to find the right software is to actually test out the platforms themselves—either by using a free trial or a money-back guarantee.
This article originally appeared on JustBusiness, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.
On a similar note...
- 10 Best Business Budgeting Software Tools for 2023
- Detailed forecasting capabilities
- Compatible with Excel and QuickBooks
- Suitable for small to medium-sized businesses and nonprofits
- Cloud and on-premise implementation
- Spreadsheet-style interface
- Supports all types of financial and non-financial budgeting
- Easy-to-use by any industry
- General ledger import/export feature
1 PlanGuru - Best Overall
2 prophix - best for large organizations, 3 budgyt - best for small to medium-sized businesses, 4 float - best for visual storytelling, 5 scoro - best for integrated financial management, 6 datarails - best for mid-sized companies, 7 mosaic - best for real-time collaboration, 8 workday - best for streamlining workflows, 9 quickbooks online - best for small businesses.
- 0 OneStream - Best for Corporate Finance
Criteria for Recommending Business Budgeting Software
What is business budgeting software, benefits of business budgeting software, choosing the right business budgeting software, frequently asked questions.
- All Products
Having the right budgeting software is crucial for staying ahead of the competition and making informed financial decisions. We’ve compiled a comprehensive review of the top 10 business budgeting software solutions for 2023, highlighting their unique features and benefits to help you make the right choice.
Why We Chose It: PlanGuru shines for its detailed forecasting abilities, tailor-made for small to medium-sized businesses and nonprofits. The software plays nice with Excel and QuickBooks, making it easy to plug into existing workflows. Features like cash flow projections, financial ratios, and debt modeling allow users to manage budgets using real-time cash flow data.
Despite its power, the software keeps its pricing under wraps, which might make budgeting for the budgeting software a bit ironic. Still, for detailed financial planning, PlanGuru is tough to beat.
Why We Chose It: Prophix stands out as the ideal budgeting software for large organizations due to its robust set of features designed to streamline complex processes. It uses OLAP technology for multi-dimensional planning, which ditches the clunky spreadsheets and broken formulas for a more seamless planning model.
Prophix also automates the cumbersome tasks of data collection, versioning, and consolidation, saving both time and resources. With built-in capabilities for top-down and bottom-up planning, organizations get the flexibility to approach budgeting and planning in a way that aligns with their specific needs.
The software excels in fostering collaboration across teams, offering functionalities like task ownership and deadline reminders to keep everyone aligned. Additionally, Prophix uses artificial intelligence to automate repetitive tasks and provide deep data insights, freeing up managers to focus on more strategic work. Its reporting features are particularly strong, enabling automated maintenance and updates, and providing actionable insights through personalized dashboards.
Why We Chose It: Budgyt offers a user-friendly interface combined with powerful budgeting features, making it ideal for small to midsized businesses. With its scalability, robust reporting tools, and real-time data updates, Budgyt streamlines budget creation and tracking, thereby saving time and reducing errors.
Its budget versioning and “what-if” analysis allow businesses to quickly adapt to market changes. Also, the software’s accessibility across devices makes collaboration easy, ensuring that team members can contribute to budget planning and monitoring regardless of location.
Why We Chose It: Float is the go-to budgeting software for businesses that need visual storytelling to navigate their financial future. With features like real-time cash flow forecasting and project tracking, Float lets you map out your finances to steer clear of risks. Its intuitive dashboard replaces cumbersome spreadsheets, offering real-time data synced with your accounting platform for always-up-to-date visual forecasts.
What sets Float apart is its ability to model countless scenarios, answering crucial ‘What if?’ questions and aiding strategic planning. This visualization aspect is not just eye-candy; it’s a powerful tool for making informed decisions, like when to hire or how to handle cash flow gaps. Coupled with high user reviews and seamless integration with accounting software like Xero and QuickBooks, Float makes visual financial storytelling not just possible, but practical and effective.
Why We Chose It: Scoro is the top pick for businesses that want a unified solution for budgeting and financial management. With Scoro, you not only get to plan and track budgets but can also manage invoices, harness powerful reporting, and integrate with your existing accounting software. The platform provides real-time overviews of your financials, replacing the need to shuffle between spreadsheets and other tools.
What sets Scoro apart is its comprehensive feature set that goes beyond simple budgeting. The platform allows you to compare multiple budget scenarios against real revenues, costs, and profits. Its enterprise-level reporting is unparalleled, offering insights on everything from budget deficits and surpluses to real-time sales margins. Plus, its ability to divide budgets by various categories—like projects, users, or accounting objects—adds an extra layer of customization and control.
Why We Chose It: Datarails delivers where it matters for mid-sized companies, specifically in project collaboration and financial management. It not only allows for forecasting and planning but brings automation and real-time updates into the mix. If your team lives and breathes Excel, you’ll find Datarails to be a snug fit.
The downside? Pricing info is MIA, which might be a deal-breaker for some. Still, for financial management that hits the sweet spot for mid-sized companies, Datarails has got the goods.
Why We Chose It: Mosaic stands out for real-time collaboration by fostering a unified “set of truth” across an organization. Its role-based permissions and custom dashboards ensure the right data gets to the right people, eliminating informational silos.
On the decision-making front, Mosaic’s live tracking of forecast vs. actuals allows teams to respond to real-time insights swiftly, and in-app notes make collaborative planning a breeze. All of this culminates in not just sharing data, but having a two-way conversation with it, making Mosaic an ideal pick for real-time collaboration.
Why We Chose It: We selected Workday Adaptive Planning as the best for streamlining workflows largely because of its versatile planning capabilities and real-time adaptiveness. The software breaks down silos with features like rolling forecasts and various budgeting approaches (top-down, bottom-up, incremental, and zero-based), allowing for a more cohesive and agile planning process.
Additionally, its driver-based expense planning and seamless integration with other enterprise solutions ensure that you’re not just planning but effectively executing and adapting those plans in real-time, ultimately making workflows more efficient.
Why We Chose It: QuickBooks Online stands out for its robust budgeting features tailored for small businesses. Automated future cash flow forecasting allows you to see your financial trajectory based on current data and market trends, helping you make informed decisions. Bank integrations streamline financial reporting by automatically pulling in transactions, saving you time and reducing errors.
With QuickBooks, you can create a detailed budget that gives you control over your cash flow, something essential when 63% of small business owners are using personal funds due to inadequate budgeting. The software is designed for accuracy and ease of use, making it less likely you’ll make budgeting mistakes while allowing you to focus on growing your business.
10 OneStream - Best for Corporate Finance
Why We Chose It: OneStream is the go-to for corporate finance thanks to its sophisticated features that support extended planning and analysis (xP&A) across multiple departments like Sales, Marketing, and Supply Chain. The software offers a unified platform for data-driven insights, allowing continuous planning and performance management. Key features like Agile Planning and Scenarios streamline the process of adapting to market changes, while its predictive analytics instantly seed budgets and forecasts without requiring technical expertise.
Not only does OneStream allow for in-depth strategic planning and modeling, it also provides extensive flexibility in how these plans can be implemented and adjusted. The platform’s Extensible Dimensionality® enables granular operational plans to co-exist with corporate and line-of-business plans, making it a comprehensive solution for complex corporate financial needs. With capabilities like “What-if” driver-based planning, you can immediately visualize the impact of your decisions, aiding in smarter, faster decision-making.
- Ease of Use: We look for interfaces that are intuitive and don’t require a steep learning curve. You don’t want to spend weeks training your team to use the software.
- Integration: The ability to sync with other tools you’re already using (like QuickBooks, or even Excel) is a big plus. The smoother the integration, the less hassle you’ll have transferring data.
- Scalability: You want software that will grow with you. If you’re a small business now but plan to expand, choose software that offers additional features you can unlock as you grow.
- Customization: The software should allow you to tailor reports, dashboards, and other features according to your needs.
- Real-Time Updates: Real-time data can provide you with the most current financial picture, which is crucial for making informed decisions.
- Affordability: Watch out for hidden costs like set-up fees, additional charges for premium features, or limits on the number of users. Get a full understanding of the pricing model.
- Security: Your financial data is sensitive. Ensure the software follows best practices for data encryption and security protocols.
- Customer Support: Especially if you’re new to budgeting software, having robust customer support can make the transition much easier.
- Trial Period: A free trial period or a money-back guarantee can give you the peace of mind to ensure the software suits your needs before fully committing.
Business budgeting software is a digital tool designed to automate and streamline the budgeting process. It provides a centralized platform for financial planning, tracking income and expenses, and forecasting future financial scenarios.
Unlike traditional methods such as spreadsheets, which are often error-prone and time-consuming, these tools offer advanced features like real-time data updates and integration with other financial tools to make financial management more accurate and efficient.
- Automated Data Collection: Say goodbye to manual data entry. These tools pull in financial data automatically, reducing the chance of errors.
- Comprehensive Reporting: Generate budget variance reports, cash flow forecasts, and other key performance indicators (KPIs) at the click of a button.
- Time Savings: Automation and real-time updates free up your time for more strategic tasks, like long-term financial planning.
- Enhanced Collaboration: Cloud-based solutions allow for easy sharing and collaborative editing, so everyone on the team can access up-to-date information.
- Strategic Planning: With data and analytics at your fingertips, you can make more informed decisions faster.
- Financial Health: Regular, precise tracking of income and expenditures helps you understand your financial standing and make adjustments as needed.
- Scalability: As your business grows, good budgeting software will adapt, providing more robust features to meet new demands.
In summary, if you’re tired of spreadsheets or looking for a more streamlined and accurate way to manage your finances, business budgeting software can be a game-changer.
Choosing the correct budgeting software for your business hinges on several factors, including features, pricing, scalability, financial complexity, and integration options. Evaluating your specific needs and requirements is a crucial step before selecting a software solution. Don’t forget to take advantage of free trials and discounts, evaluate the complexity of your finances, and review integrations to find the best budgeting software for your business.
We hope this comprehensive review of the top 10 business budgeting software solutions for 2023 has provided you with valuable insights and guidance in choosing the best tool for your organization. Remember that the right budgeting software can significantly impact your business’s financial planning and decision-making process.
How do I create a budget for my small business?
To create a budget for your small business, commit to creating a budget, consider revenue and list costs, create profit and loss statements and balance sheets, include extra funds, and finish the budget. Negotiate costs with suppliers, estimate revenue, and factor in seasonal and industry trends. Additionally, keep separate personal and business accounts, choose a budgeting tool, project cash flow, calculate gross profit and net profit, and divide the net profit.
Is Quickbooks a budgeting software?
Quickbooks is an accounting software with budgeting capacilities that helps businesses to create and edit their budgets on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis, with data automatically pre-filled. It also enables users to compare actual income and expenses with the budgeted amounts.
What is the best budgeting tool for Quickbooks?
For the best budgeting tool for QuickBooks, I recommend Jirav ’s cloud-based planning and analysis solution to save time and add value as a finance leader, or Budgeto, an easy-to-use budgeting app. These tools offer robust features that allow you to forecast the future of your business and ask the right questions to offer the best advice to your colleagues.
What is cloud based forecasting?
Cloud-based Forecasting is a method that utilizes machine learning algorithms and predictive models to forecast the reliability and performance of cloud server systems. It is used to increase accuracy and provide customer-defined forecasting solutions for supply chain problems. Additionally, it can be used to predict future cloud cost spending based on historical data and upcoming project costs.
- Main content
Mint is shutting down — consider these 7 alternative budgeting apps
Our experts answer readers' investing questions and write unbiased product reviews ( here's how we assess investing products ). Paid non-client promotion: In some cases, we receive a commission from our partners . Our opinions are always our own.
- Intuit is shutting down Mint on January 1 and is telling users to move to Credit Karma.
- Some Mint features are set to be moved to Credit Karma, but not monthly budgets.
- If you prioritize a budgeting app with monthly-budgeting tools, here are seven alternative options.
Intuit has announced it will shut down the personal finance app Mint on January 1, 2024. Intuit is asking Mint users to move to Credit Karma, one of the company's other personal-finance platforms.
According to an FAQ section on the Intuit website, some Mint features are moving to Credit Karma. For example, it says Mint users will still be able to view their bank accounts, transaction history, spending, cash flow, and net worth . Credit Karma isn't set to let you make monthly budgets or category budgets, though.
If you've been using the Mint app for its budgeting features, you'll have to consider other options.
Limited Time Offer: Three months free for any Mint users looking to switch.
$5.99 monthly subscription or $47.88 annual subscription
three months free
- Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Connect all your bank accounts, investments accounts, and credit cards
- Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Help you save for individual savings goals
- Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Create a budget
- Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Track expenses
- Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. 30-day money-back guarantee
- con icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. Must buy a subscription (no free option)
Simplifi by Quicken is a great budgeting tool if you want to create a detailed monthly spending and savings plan and don't mind paying for a subscription. If you would rather get a budgeting app that doesn't have a subscription fee, you'll have to consider other options.
- Stay on top of your finances in under 5 minutes per week.
- Check your custom budgeting plan — anytime, anywhere!
- Track your spending
- See where your money is going and discover places to save.
- Keep your bills in check
- Find subscriptions you don't use and start saving from day one.
Here are seven of the best budgeting apps to explore if you prioritize an app that lets you make a monthly or categorized budget.
- Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Budgeting app for couples
- Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Can have individual and shared finances
- Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Create monthly bill reminders
- Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Can discuss finances through chat feature
- con icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. Only available through mobile app
Honeydue is featured in our best budgeting apps guide as the best option for couples. It's a great option if you don't want to pay a fee. It also allows you to have individual and shared finances.
Honeydue is a personal-finance app for couples. It lets you create a monthly budget by linking credit cards, loans, investments, and bank accounts. Couples choose what they share and can create a joint budget.
Honeydue is free to use. The mobile app is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars in the Apple store and 3.3 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store.
2. Monarch Money
Premium Plan with a 7-day free-trial, then $14.99 per month or $99.99 annually
- Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Link bank accounts
- Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Create unlimited budgets and make customizable categories
- Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Track individual savings goals
- Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Graphs and charts that track your spending and savings
- con icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. No free plan
Monarch Money is an overall solid option if you prioritize creating monthly budgets and saving for individual savings goals. The main downside of the app is that it doesn't offer a free plan. You'll have to a monthly or annual subscription fee.
Monarch Money lets you create a customizable budget, meaning you can create your own categories to track your spending for certain areas.
The mobile app has a monthly or annual plan. The monthly plan costs $14.99 a month. The annual plan is $99.99 a year, which breaks down to about $8.33 a month.
Monarch Money has 4.8 out of 5 stars in the Apple store and 4.6 stars out of 5 in the Google Play store.
Free Plan is $0; PocketGuard Plus has a monthly plan ($7.99 per month), an annual plan ($34.99 per year), and a lifetime plan ($79.99)
- Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Create a monthly budget
- Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Track bill payments
- Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Save for individual savings goals
- con icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. Free plan has limited features
Pocketguard may be worthwhile if you want a budgeting app with standard features. You can create a monthly budget, track bill payments, and save for individual savings goals. The free plan has limited features though, and PocketGuard Plus requires a subscription fee.
- Free plan and premium plan available
- PocketGuard Plus has a monthly plan ($7.99 per month), an annual plan ($34.99 per year), and a lifetime plan ($79.99)
PocketGuard allows you to make a monthly budget through the free or premium plan (called PocketGuard Plus). PocketGuard Plus lets you make customizable budget categories and unlimited budgets — for example, a personal budget, a business budget, and a couples' budget.
The free plan is $0, while PocketGuard Plus has monthly, annual, and lifetime plans. The monthly plan is $7.99 a month, and the annual plan is $34.99 a year (which ends up being just under $3 a month). The lifetime plan is $79.99.
The app is rated 4.7 out of 5 stars in the Apple store and 3.7 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store.
4. Simplifi by Quicken
Simplifi by Quicken has budgets with customizable categories. The platform also analyzes your spending and savings through charts and can generate monthly reports for your spending, general income, income after expenses, savings, and net worth.
Simplifi by Quicken has a limited-time offer to Mint users who switch. You can get three months free through the promotional page . The subscription is billed annually and comes to around $3.99 per month.
Simplifi by Quicken has received 4.1 out of 5 stars in the Apple store and 2.8 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store.
Simplifi by Quicken Review
5. Rocket Money
Free to create a budget. Subscription fee applies to premium services.
- Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Connect all your bank accounts, credit cards, and investment accounts to track spending
- Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Bill negotiation feature
- Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Free plan available
- con icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. Limited features available with free plan
- con icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. Limited customer support availability
Rocket Money is featured in our best budgeting apps guide. While the Rocket Money app is free, there is a subscription fee if you want to use Premium features, like concierge services or premium chat.
Rocket Money has free and premium plans that allow you to make a monthly budget. The free plan lets you create a monthly budget using select categories. If you get the premium plan, you can make unlimited budgets. The premium plan also allows you to make customized budgeting categories.
The free plan costs $0. Meanwhile, the premium plan has a 7-day free trial. After that, you'll pay what you think is fair through a sliding scale that has price points from about $4 a month to $12 a month. If you select the $4 and $5 monthly plans, you'll be billed annually instead of monthly.
Rocket Money is rated 4.3 out of 5 stars in the Apple store and 4.4 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store.
Rocket Money Review
34-day free trial; Then $14.99 per month or $99 per year
- Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Available on computer, phone, or tablet
- Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Reports for spending and net worth
YNAB may be a good option if you are interested in using the zero-sum budget strategy. It also may be worthwhile if you want to use a platform that's available through a computer, phone, or tablet. You'll want to consider other options if you do not want to pay a subscription fee, though.
YNAB helps you create a category budget through its four-rule method.
With the first rule, you'll implement a zero-sum budget, which means you'll assign every dollar you earn a purpose. The second rule requires you to factor in non-monthly expenses, such as holiday shopping or car maintenance. The third rule reminds you to be flexible with your monthly budget and make adjustments if you see that you're overspending in a certain category. The fourth rule encourages you to age your money. Essentially, the last rule points out that once you've focused on mastering the first three rules, you'll know where your money is going and spend less than you earn.
Ultimately, the four rules make sure you think about where all your money is going and how to adjust for your future savings.
YNAB can be used on the computer or through the mobile app. It costs $14.99 a month or $99 annually, which comes to about $8.25 monthly.
The app is rated 4.8 out of 5 stars in the Apple store and 4.6 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store.
Free plan is $0; Zeta+ is $6.99 per month
- Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. App for couples and families
- Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Joint bank accounts
- Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Create a budget with the envelope method
- con icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. Limited mobile app ratings
You might like the Zeta personal finance app if you want to organize finances with a child, partner, or other family members. It also may be a decent option if you find the envelope budgeting method appealing, or want to open a joint bank account. That said, Zeta has limited mobile app ratings.
Zeta is another personal-finance app for couples and families. Zeta has joint bank accounts and uses the envelope budgeting method, which means you put a set amount of money into specific categories. Each month, you'll spend what you have for that category.
Zeta has a free plan and a premium plan called Zeta+. Zeta+ can be used by families or people who want to automate their banking. The free plan costs $0. Zeta+ costs $6.99 a month.
The mobile app is rated 4.6 out of 5 stars in the Apple store and 4.2 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store.
- Are banks open today? Here's a list of US bank holidays for 2023
- Best CD rates
- Best High-yield savings accounts
- These banks and credit unions allow you to exchange foreign currency at a branch, over the phone, or online
- Four reasons why your debit card might be denied even when you have money
Watch: Here’s your year-long guide to financial stability
- U.S. Markets
- Futures & Commodities
- Funds & ETFs
- Health & Science
- Real Estate
- Financial Advisors
- Options Action
- Buffett Archive
- Trader Talk
- Social Media
- CNBC Disruptor 50
- White House
- Equity and Opportunity
- Business Day Shows
- Entertainment Shows
- Full Episodes
- Latest Video
- CEO Interviews
- CNBC Documentaries
- CNBC Podcasts
- Digital Originals
- Live TV Schedule
- Trust Portfolio
- Trade Alerts
- Meeting Videos
- Jim's Columns
- Stock Screener NEW!
- Market Forecast
- Options Investing
Help for Low Credit Scores
All Credit Cards
Find the Credit Card for You
Best Credit Cards
Best Rewards Credit Cards
Best Travel Credit Cards
Best 0% APR Credit Cards
Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards
Best Cash Back Credit Cards
Best Credit Card Welcome Bonuses
Best Credit Cards to Build Credit
Find the Best Personal Loan for You
Best Personal Loans
Best Debt Consolidation Loans
Best Loans to Refinance Credit Card Debt
Best Loans with Fast Funding
Best Small Personal Loans
Best Large Personal Loans
Best Personal Loans to Apply Online
Best Student Loan Refinance
Find the Savings Account for You
Best High Yield Savings Accounts
Best Big Bank Savings Accounts
Best Big Bank Checking Accounts
Best No Fee Checking Accounts
No Overdraft Fee Checking Accounts
Best Checking Account Bonuses
Best Money Market Accounts
Best Credit Unions
Best Mortgages for Small Down Payment
Best Mortgages for No Down Payment
Best Mortgages with No Origination Fee
Best Mortgages for Average Credit Score
Adjustable Rate Mortgages
Affording a Mortgage
Best Life Insurance
Best Homeowners Insurance
Best Renters Insurance
Best Car Insurance
All Credit Monitoring
Best Credit Monitoring Services
Best Identity Theft Protection
How to Boost Your Credit Score
Credit Repair Services
All Personal Finance
Best Budgeting Apps
Best Expense Tracker Apps
Best Money Transfer Apps
Best Resale Apps and Sites
Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) Apps
Best Debt Relief
All Small Business
Best Small Business Savings Accounts
Best Small Business Checking Accounts
Best Credit Cards for Small Business
Best Small Business Loans
Best Tax Software for Small Business
Best Tax Software
Best Tax Software for Small Businesses
All Help for Low Credit Scores
Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit
Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit
Best Debt Consolidation Loans for Bad Credit
Personal Loans if You Don't Have Credit
Best Credit Cards for Building Credit
Personal Loans for 580 Credit Score or Lower
Personal Loans for 670 Credit Score or Lower
Best Mortgages for Bad Credit
Best Hardship Loans
Best IRA Accounts
Best Roth IRA Accounts
Best Investing Apps
Best Free Stock Trading Platforms
Amazon unveils buy now, pay later option from Affirm for small business owners
- Amazon is rolling out its first buy now, pay later checkout option for the millions of small business owners who use its online store, CNBC learned exclusively.
- The tech giant confirmed Thursday that its partnership with Affirm is expanding to include Amazon Business, the e-commerce platform for companies.
- The move is a boost in a crucial relationship for Affirm, which has had to search for revenue growth after demand for expensive Peloton bikes collapsed.
In this article
Amazon is unveiling its first buy now, pay later checkout option for the millions of small business owners who use its online store, CNBC learned exclusively.
The tech giant confirmed Thursday that its partnership with Affirm is expanding to include Amazon Business, the e-commerce platform that caters to companies.
Affirm shares jumped 19% on the news.
The service, with loans ranging from $100 to $20,000, will be available to all eligible customers by Black Friday, or Nov. 24. It is specifically for sole proprietors , or small businesses owned by a single person, the most common form of business ownership in the U.S.
It's the latest sign of the widening adoption of a fintech feature that exploded in popularity early in the pandemic, along with the valuations of leading players Affirm and Klarna . When boom turned to bust in 2021, and valuations in the industry dropped steeply , skeptics pointed to rising interest rates and borrower defaults as hurdles for growth and profitability.
But for users, the option is touted as being more transparent than credit cards because customers know how much interest they will owe up front. That's made its appeal durable for households and businesses coming under increasing strain as excess cash from pandemic stimulus programs has dwindled.
"We constantly hear from small businesses that say they need payment solutions to manage their cash flow," Todd Heimes , director of Amazon Business Worldwide, said in an interview. "We offer the ability to use credit cards and to pay by invoice; this is another option available to small business customers to pay over time."
Amazon Business was launched in 2015 after the company realized businesses were using its popular retail website for office supplies and bulk purchases. The division reached $35 billion in sales this year and has more than 6 million customers globally.
If approved, users can pay for Amazon purchases in equal installments over three to 48 months. They are charged an annualized interest rate between 10% and 36%, based on the perceived risk of the transaction, according to Affirm Chief Revenue Officer Wayne Pommen . There are no late or hidden fees, the companies said.
"The financial industry is not great at providing credit to really small businesses," Pommen said. "They can't walk into a bank branch and get a loan until they reach a certain scale. So us being able to provide this for purchases" helps business grow and manage their cash flows, he said.
The move is a boost in a crucial relationship for Affirm, which has had to search for revenue growth after demand for expensive Peloton bikes collapsed. Affirm first began offering installment loans to Amazon's retail customers in 2021 , launched on Amazon in Canada in 2022 and was then added to Amazon Pay earlier this year.
Affirm, which uses its own models to underwrite loans for each transaction it facilitates, decided to target sole proprietors first because they make up most small businesses in the country, with 28 million registered in the U.S., according to Pommen.
"We'll see how the product performs and if it makes sense to expand it to a wider universe of businesses," he said. "Our assessment is that we can underwrite this very successfully and have the strong performance that we need."
6 Best AI-Powered Business Plan Generators (August 2023)
An entrepreneur is, in essence, a maker of plans. Actionable, specific plans for the realization of things that don't yet exist; turning ideas into action.
It sounds simple, but any business owner who has tried to start, build and grow a business knows how tricky this skill can be. Because, let's face it: business is too complicated to simply sit down and make 'one plan, one business plan to rule them all...'.
It's product and marketing plans. It's legal and financials; customer support and content plans. If you're doing it right, entrepreneurship means you are always standing at the edge of your next plan, always in a position to pivot as new information comes in and to update your plans accordingly.
The problem with such dynamic planning is that it takes time. Time to write out your plan. To assess what happened, and reassess if the current gameplan is still the best path. To think through the expected outcomes, costs and ROI.
Let alone making plans for things you're not-so-well-versed in. "I know I should have a Customer Onboarding Plan, but can someone please remind me of best practices again?"
Fortunately, we live in 2023 and some of the most powerful AI models in existence are available to help us with the more mundane and administrative side of business planning; so that you can focus on the strategic inputs and let your new AI-powered tools fill in the details.
In this post, I'll be sharing 6 of the best such AI-powered business plan generators. From tools to help you write out a formal business plan proposal (say, for applying for a business loan) to apps that will guide you through and generate plans for every step of your business building journey.
Let's take a look.
Best AI-Powered Business Plan Generators (2023 List)
- Tarkenton GoSmallBiz
Bizway lets you turn your business ideas, notes and research into actionable roadmaps and plans with a couple of clicks. Imagine taking all of the little notes you've jotted down about your business; Google docs saved; sheets created; Notion workspaces setup; then saying 'Okay Bizway, create a Marketing Plan for me based on what you know about my business'.
How it works?
- Create a Biz project for your business idea (it can be a business idea you are still fleshing out, or an existing business you currently operate);
- Bizway then guides you through filling a few details about your business model. Things like researching your target market, scoping out your product offer and more;
- Now you're ready to generate business plans, in any area, based on your saved business model details. Ask Bizway to create a plan for 'Getting my first sale' or 'Build my website' and it will generate a clear list of actionable tasks for you to complete on your way to filling that objective;
- You can even choose from a library of common business planning templates, so that you can streamline the business plan creation process, and get more fine-tuned answers for your plans.
Bizway, unlike some of the other tools on this list, was built in the era of ChatGPT--so it really was built from the ground up with an AI-first powered interface.
If you're just starting from a business idea, or want to speed up your next marketing campaign, product launch (or anything really), get Bizway to help you create your next plan in just a few clicks.
Try Bizway .
Next on our list is LivePlan. This AI-powered tool is best known for its step-by-step guidance and interactive financial forecasting. It features easy-to-use templates and pitch guides, which can be a great starting point for startups and SMEs. LivePlan's Pitch feature helps you to quickly prepare a one-page infographic that highlights your business idea and its profitability to investors.
In addition, LivePlan allows you to benchmark your forecasts against similar businesses, giving you an insight into your competitive standing. The tool's performance dashboard also keeps you updated on your business progress, ensuring you stay on track with your plan.
Upmetrics is an excellent AI-powered business plan generator that offers a plethora of features including a business plan editor, financial forecasting, and a collaboration feature that allows your team to work together on the plan. One standout feature of Upmetrics is its repository of more than 20,000 business ideas, which can provide inspiration for your own venture.
Additionally, Upmetrics has a Business Plan Analytics feature that allows you to analyze your business strategy and optimize your plan for maximum effectiveness. This is an excellent tool for entrepreneurs who want a deeper understanding of their business strategy.
IdeaBuddy is a novel AI-powered business plan generator that targets entrepreneurs and startups in the initial stages of planning. The platform takes users through an organized idea development process dubbed "Idea Journey" that includes creating a business concept, building a business model, and planning a budget.
IdeaBuddy also offers an attractive feature named Storyboard. This tool allows you to visualize your business journey and share your vision with potential investors and stakeholders, fostering a deeper understanding of your idea.
GoSmallBiz is a comprehensive business plan generator powered by AI. It covers all the essential aspects of a business plan including executive summary, company description, product/service line, and market analysis.
What sets Tarkenton GoSmallBiz apart is its integrated educational resources. With hundreds of business courses and webinars, users can deepen their business knowledge while creating a business plan. The AI tool also includes a real-time performance score that provides immediate feedback on your plan.
Rounding up our list is Bizplan, an AI-powered tool that makes business planning enjoyable with its interactive and easy-to-use interface. Bizplan breaks down the business plan creation process into digestible pieces through its "builder" approach.
Its standout feature is its ability to connect users to a global community of entrepreneurs, Fundable, where you can share ideas and seek feedback. Bizplan also has a robust financial forecasting tool that can help you project revenue, costs, and cash flow.
In conclusion, AI-powered business plan generators are an invaluable resource for entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses alike. They not only simplify the business plan creation process but also provide insights and features that can significantly boost the success of your venture. With tools like Bizway, LivePlan, Upmetrics, IdeaBuddy, Tarkenton GoSmallBiz, and Bizplan at your disposal, you can confidently create a business plan that is both compelling and investor-ready.
Spend less time planning, more time building your business.
Simply input your business idea, and have your first plan created in minutes.⚡
Bizway is brought to you by Landmark Labs Ltd.
©2023 Landmark Labs Ltd.
Exploring HR Responsibilities: Key Areas of Focus for Effective Human Resource Management
Aligning HR goals with business objectives
Outcomes of strategic hr planning and development, common roles and responsibilities of hr managers, hr metrics and analytics, understanding essential hr roles and responsibilities for your business..
Human resources (HR) is an essential department for most organizations and businesses. It involves the management of all personnel-related concerns, from recruitment to compliance to benefits administration. Effective HR teams and managers contribute to business growth and success, while poor HR management can increase employee churn and damage employee morale.
Hiring HR professionals is a significant investment for many companies. An HR manager, for example, currently earns an average of over $117,000 in the United States. [ 1 ] Business leaders want to know that HR employees can deliver results that make this investment worthwhile. Understanding HR responsibilities and gaining insights into human resources duties helps organizations hire HR team members with the right experience.
Importance of HR responsibilities
Without HR teams, businesses lack experts who know how to handle payroll, benefits, training, and other employee-related concerns. Many HR leaders can take a hand in helping build effective organizational structures, which is very useful for small to midsize businesses experiencing growth or onboarding at scale.
In the early days of a startup, for example, business owners may only have a handful of workers to manage. At this point, a DIY approach may be cost-effective. However, for any business that wants to aim for significant growth, this tactic is not sustainable. Businesses need to hire HR-focused professionals who can take care of employee concerns. This frees up other employees to focus on key business objectives while ensuring the company’s biggest asset, its workforce, gains the best experience in terms of support and development.
Human resources responsibilities must fall in line with overall business goals and objectives. Effective HR managers need to balance employee experience and manager effectiveness. In other words, an HR team can become a go-between, handling concerns of both entry-level and management employees.
HR professionals also need to be aware of external pressures such as the scarcity of talent, economic impacts on the organization, and global supply chain constraints. [ 2 ] These are all factors that impact a company’s growth opportunities, where it sources its people from, and how it positions itself in the market to attract particular categories of employees.
The overall business strategy should drive the level of focus for each area of HR management. These areas may include creating safer work environments, compliance with industry regulations, or even employee development. Corporate values and goals help guide how the HR team approaches particular aims. An online retailer, for example, needs a higher level of attention on how supply chain issues are impacting the organization than a cloud-based service provider. This is because delays for transportation and logistics providers impact the retailer’s customers getting their goods, whereas the software provider can deliver services digitally.
Ensuring you keep your business objectives top-of-mind when recruiting HR professionals helps you match a candidate’s experience with your requirements.
Onboarding professionals who effectively align HR responsibilities with business strategies has numerous positive outcomes.
Improved employee performance
HR managers who encourage more inclusive management styles, collaborative approaches, and effective recruitment strategies have a genuine opportunity to drive improved performance across an organization. All HR duties impact business performance in some way. For example, effective conflict resolution policies can lead to improved decision-making via constructive conversations. [ 3 ]
Increased adoption of Agile methodologies across the organization
The best HR managers know that they need to delegate tasks to talented individuals. A pool of HR problem solvers can provide an Agile response to complex HR challenges. [ 4 ] These pools can grow, shrink, or even disband as HR complexities fluctuate. Adopting methods like this encourages collaboration and more Agile team structures company-wide.
Effective collaboration of this type requires the removal of data silos and the right digital tools to facilitate effective communication.
Improved performance and productivity naturally lead to organic business growth. Plus, building HR strategies that increase employee engagement reduces stress in the workplace which could cut costly absenteeism dramatically. Recent analysis suggests that engagement is nearly four times more valuable to employees than workplace location. [ 5 ]
Here are several responsibilities of HR managers that help make companies great places to work.
Employee onboarding and engagement
Removing the friction from onboarding gives employees a positive first impression of a company, plus it can increase levels of employee engagement from the earliest stage. HR teams should employ engagement strategies continuously to bolster retention. These types of strategies may include asking employees at all levels for regular feedback, providing flexible working opportunities, or organizing meaningful team-building activities.
Workforce planning and forecasting
Strategic HR management includes workforce planning and forecasting: having the right employees available at the right time to handle the necessary duties. This requires an understanding of what skills employees have and when they’re available to work. Other factors include busy periods for the company or external factors that impact demand, such as an economic slump. HR managers should also know when workers will be taking time off and plan accordingly.
Talent acquisition and recruitment strategies
Sourcing top talent is one of the primary HR duties. HR managers should know how to balance external and internal recruitment, to ensure existing associates gain a fair chance at development while the company still benefits from an influx of fresh talent.
HR software can be essential here—from AI-powered writing tools to draft job postings and descriptions to application tracking systems (ATS) that log every step of the candidate’s onboarding journey, there are multiple types of HR solutions that can help you through the different stages of an associate’s employment journey.
Building a DEI workforce
Diversity, equality, and inclusion are all HR responsibilities—although every employee should be aware of their company’s diversity statement and guidelines. HR leaders should drive initiatives to encourage an inclusive workspace and employ a diverse range of people from different backgrounds.
Compensation and benefits administration
A key way to improve employee relations is with competitive compensation and benefits packages. HR responsibilities include the management of these, implementing pay raises, processing overtime, or liaising with insurers to create healthcare packages.
When hiring HR teams, you can advertise for specific skills such as payroll experience. This allows you to build a pool of experts able to handle any concerns around compensation or benefits management.
Training and development programs
Employees want a career rather than merely a job benefit; thus, they demand continuous training and development provided by their company. Over 80% of HR professionals state that providing training opportunities for all staff members helps attract skilled talent. [ 6 ]
Training doesn’t have to take employees away from their daily roles. HR managers can set up mentorship programs, where experienced employees work with newer hires to provide advice and share knowledge while on the job.
Other aspects of HR management may feed directly into strategic training planning. For example, while performing workforce forecasting as outlined above, HR teams might notice a skills gap. Arranging training specifically focused on this gap can ensure more efficient workforce planning in the future. Further training may also help companies remain compliant with industry regulations and guidelines. For example, training all employees on cybersecurity could help a business in the healthcare industry remain HIPAA-compliant. [ 7 ]
Employee relations and compliance
Compliance is a critical consideration for businesses of all sizes. Even the smallest startups need to understand the laws and regulations that govern their industry. HR managers with experience handling the intricacies of industry compliance can become a massive asset to their company by helping avoid fines and other legal sanctions.
Compliance also extends to ensuring employees adhere to standards set by your organization, and this can be an important aspect of managing employee relations. Employee relations means developing positive relationships between staff and managers, mediating conflict, and handling disciplinary action. HR managers must be excellent communicators and have a full grasp of all company-wide regulations. Beyond this, HR teams need to gather significant volumes of data to understand employee performance and other critical metrics. These can guide disciplinary decisions, promotion prospects, or simply one-to-one conversations around compliance concerns.
Metrics that HR managers need to consider may change depending on the industry the company works in, the number of employees, and the business goals. When hiring HR professionals, list the metrics critical to your organization. This helps you ask the right interview questions to ensure the candidates have the right experience and skills to match your needs. Common HR metrics include:
Various employee performance KPIs
Ratio of HR personnel to employees
Overall HR cost per employee
HR software usually includes analytics tools that gather this information from various business systems and collate it into actionable reports, charts, or dashboards.
The right software supports HR responsibilities and duties
To summarize some of the key points, businesses looking to maximize the effectiveness of their HR teams should:
Hire HR leaders with experience and skills to support business requirements.
Support HR managers to create teams of HR employees to manage fluctuating task loads.
Allow HR managers to source the best HR software for reporting, analytics, and other data management tasks.
Align their overall HR strategies with business goals.
As technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) become more common, digital HR tools increasingly include automation and other ways to manage time-consuming or tedious tasks. This frees leaders up to focus on HR responsibilities like improving employee engagement and handling crisis management cases.
HR leaders can utilize many types of software to streamline processes and make the role of human resources more impactful. People management platforms, combined suites of HR and finance systems, and resource management tools can all empower HR professionals to work faster and smarter.
Find out more about the available options with these resources:
Choose human resources software
Resource management software options
Understanding human resource management
Human Resources Manager Salary in the United States , Salary.com
HR Transformation: Better Elevate Your Organization’s Performance and Growt h, Gartner
The Pivotal Role of HR in Building High-Performing Teams , Jorge Chapa, LinkedIn
Creating an HR Problem-Solver Pool: Key Design Decisions , Gartner
State of the Global Workplace: 2023 Report , Gallup
2022 Workplace Learning & Development Trends , SHRM
The HIPAA Privacy Rule , U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Was this article helpful?
About the author, mabh savage - guest contributor.
Mabh Savage is a writer specializing in digital transformation, marketing, and IT.
Human resource management: the ultimate guide, top hr trends for 2023 and beyond, what is a job requisition and how to write one, hr compensation and benefits: how to create a competitive package, top skills hr leaders need to increase effectiveness, how hr leaders can help managers set and achieve performance goals, a guide to effective employee performance management, capterra value report: a price comparison guide for recruiting software, types of compensation: a complete guide for hr professionals.
Upmetrics AI Assistant: Simplifying Business Planning through AI-Powered Insights. Learn How
Financial forecasting, ai assistance, see how upmetrics works →, strategic planning, entrepreneurs & small business, accelerators & incubators, business consultants & advisors, educators & business schools, students & scholars.
- Sample Plans
Business Plan Course
Small business tools, strategic canvas templates, e-books, guides & more.
- WHY UPMETRICS?
Customers Success Stories
10 best business plan software and tools in 2023.
Do you know what’s common between a global IT firm and a small food truck business?
Like any other business on the planet Earth, they both require a solid business plan to make their business a runaway success.
Business plan. No entrepreneur is a stranger to this term, but do they all consider it seriously? Not sure.
Results? Spending a lot of time, money, and resources on the wrong marketing strategies, missing several growth opportunities, and of course, facing tough times raising funds.
No one wants to be in this situation!
That’s where a perfect business plan software can help you out. These tools make drafting an investment-ready business plan a breeze.
So how exactly can these business planning tools help?
Simply put, business plan software can help you create a winning business plan, develop marketing strategies, and predict your financial future—ultimately helping your business grow.
Now, how to choose a tool that will suit your business’s requirements and your budget too? The answer is right here.
In this article, we’ve narrowed down our search for the best business plan software to the 10 best paid and free software considering factors like—pricing, features, performance, and credibility.
So you can easily pick the one that best suits your requirements.
All sorted? Shall we begin? Let’s roll.
Best Paid and Free Business Plan Software and Tools
Jump to section, 1. upmetrics.
Upmetrics is a top business and financial planning software helping entrepreneurs and small business owners start and grow their businesses.
Its 200+ fully customizable sample business plans, video tutorials, well-written documentation, and go-to guides make writing a business plan a lot easier for someone new to business plan writing.
The best part about Upmetrics is—it’s affordable, reliable, and best for beginners.
In fact, the creators of Upmetrics believe that creating a business plan requires no special qualifications, nor a degree in finance to draw financial projections.
And the tool they’ve created speaks volumes of their words—making it a go-to solution for budding entrepreneurs.
Let’s have a look at the features you get with Upmetrics—the #1 business plan software:
- 200+ fully customizable business plan templates to get started.
- Easy-to-use business plan builder with drag and drop tools.
- Financial forecasting tool to plan and manage your cash flow with ease.
- Easy to share or collaborate with the team in real time.
- Pitch deck creator to create perfect pitches and impress investors.
- Create actionable business strategies using various business model canvases.
- Easily customize and edit cover pages.
- Real-time updates and cloud storage, eliminating the risk of data loss.
- Business resources, video tutorials, and guides to help get started.
- Intuitive, seamless, and responsive user interface.
The Upmetrics subscription starts at $7/month (billed annually) with one workspace; it also provides a free demo and a 15-day money-back guarantee —so no risk at all!
Create winning Business Plans with ultimate
AI Business Plan Generator
Plans starting from $7/month
What People Say About Us
LivePlan is one of the best and most renowned business planning, budgeting, and performance-tracking software for startups and small business owners.
Whether you are a startup looking to attract potential investors or an established organization that needs help creating a forecast of your business’s financial future—LivePlan can help.
LivePlan simplifies the process of creating a professional business plan with its instruction manuals, tutorials, and expert guidance, whereas its automated financials built-in with formulas ensure precise financial forecasting.
LivePlan provides a wide range of features which may include:
- Business plan templates
- Budgeting and expense tracking
- Online learning tools & resources
- Collaborative planning
- Pitch deck creator
- Dashboard and reporting
- Integrated document storage
Though LivePlan has been in the market for a long time now, it isn’t suitable for short-term business planning. That’s why we recommend exploring some LivePlan alternatives.
LivePlan’s subscription model consists of two plans: standard and premium. The standard plan costs $20/month, whereas the premium plan costs $40/month. However, they do not have any free trial or demo as a part of their pricing plan.
What I didn't like about LivePlan?
Here are the average user ratings, comparing the experiences on Liveplan and Upmetrics.
Compare Liveplan with Others
Liveplan vs. Enloop: Which is Best for Your Business?
IdeaBuddy vs. Liveplan: Which is Best for Your Business?
Bizplan vs. Liveplan: Which is Best for Your Business?
Enloop is an advanced business planning and financial forecasting tool helping business owners maximize the potential of their business venture.
Unlike Upmetrics and LivePlan—Enloop is designed for individuals with prior financial knowledge and business planning experience.
Understanding all of its functionalities is tough, but it has a lot to offer once you figure out its basic functionalities. Still, it’s not the most intuitive and user-friendly application in this space, so it may take a while to get used to it.
If you’re not a beginner and are willing to invest some time understanding and learning its functionalities—it’s well worth it. But, if you’re not, you may consider looking for a few other business plan software.
Enloop provides a wide range of advanced financial tools and business planning features, which may include:
- Business plan creation
- Automated financial forecasts
- Collaboration and sharing
- Funding and investor tools
- Exporting and integrations
- Auto-generated financial reports
- Automated text writing
Enloop’s monthly subscription plans range between $19.95 and $39.95, depending on your plan and functionalities. It also has a 7-day free trial with no credit card details required.
What I didn't like about Enloop?
Here are the average user ratings, comparing the experiences on Enloop and Upmetrics.
Ideabuddy is an innovative business plan software helping new-age entrepreneurs turn their ideas into successful business plans.
Customizable templates, industry-based guides, and streamlined idea and business plan creation make it one of the most user-friendly applications on the list.
It is designed on a principle where users can develop, test, and launch their business idea—all in one place. While it’s great for idea creation, it may lack several comprehensive business planning features.
Financial forecasting is vital to a business plan, but IdeaBuddy may not provide all the necessary financial tools for accurate projections.
So if your business is in the idea stage—choosing IdeaBuddy could be a fair call, but if you plan to build a comprehensive business plan, you need another tool.
IdeaBuddy provides a wide range of features, which may include:
- Modern business plan with a click
- Export your plan and financials
- Mobile-friendly platform
- Customizable templates and industry-based guides
- Test to score your idea
- Step-by-step business guide
- Brainstorm ideas with your team
IdeaBuddy’s subscription model consists of four plans: free, dreamer, founder, and team pro.
Depending on the plan specifications and features, these plans may cost between $15 to $40 a month. You can also save up to 60% on annual memberships.
What I didn't like about IdeaBuddy?
Here are the average user ratings, comparing the experiences on IdeaBuddy and Upmetrics.
Planful is a business planning and financial performance management cloud software. It provides a structured framework for industry-wide businesses to develop, track, and execute their plans.
The tool specializes in financial performance management with advanced features like—financial close management, reporting, and consolidation.
While the tool has numerous advanced features and functionalities—they all come with a high price tag as it’s mainly designed for medium and large-scale enterprises.
Let’s have a look at the extensive financial tools and features you may get with a planful subscription:
- Budgeting and forecasting
- Financial consolidation
- Scenario modeling
- Reporting and analytics
- Financial close management
- Data integration and connectivity
- Responsive web and mobile apps
Planful has no structured pricing model on their website; users may contact their sales team for a custom quotation.
What I didn't like about Planful?
iPlanner is an enterprise business plan software that has been helping entrepreneurs develop their business plans since 2007. It is suitable for businesses looking to secure funding, better understand and manage risks, or communicate the company’s business model and strategy to the team.
Though the business plan software has been around for over a decade now, it didn’t seem to cope with the technological advancements, so it may not provide the most intuitive and visually appealing user interface.
But if you are searching for an affordable business planning and performance tracking tool with KPIs, analytics, and reporting features, iPlanner can be a good investment.
Here’s an overview of the key features of iPlanner—business plan software:
- Financial forecasting
- Secure and accessible
- Data security and backup
- How to articles and guides
iPlanner’s subscription model consists of two plans: professional and corporate. Professional subscriptions start at $24 for a 3-month subscription with one project, while corporate subscriptions start at $59 for a 6-month subscription with 12 projects.
What I didn't like about iPlanner?
PlanGuru is a business planning software that helps entrepreneurs make better decisions, increase profits, and accomplish their business goals through strategic business planning and accurate forecasting.
Budgeting & financial analytics, rolling forecast, and strategic planning are three critical components of PlanGuru’s feature list.
PlanGuru specializes in forecasting financial statements, scenario analysis, budgeting, and gaining insights through reporting tools.
It offers many advanced financial forecasting features but is quite expensive— making it unsuitable for startups with limited investment capital.
PlanGuru provides a wide range of financial tools and business planning features to create business plans, which may include:
- Business valuation tool
- 20+ standard forecast methods
- Budget/forecast for up to 10 years
- Archive budget feature
- Standard report export to PDF, Excel, and Word
- Custom report builder for Excel
- Online dashboard, scorecard, and reporting tools
PlanGuru has two different pricing plans; one for businesses and nonprofits and another for business advisors. Depending on the plan specifications and features, these plans may cost between $99 and $299/month.
What I didn't like about PlanGuru?
8. The Business Plan Shop
The Business Plan Shop is a business & financial planning and analysis platform for small and medium-sized business owners and financial advisors.
Its business plan templates make writing a business plan relatively easier for beginners. Despite its many features, the business plan software specializes in financial analysis, forecasting, and KPI tracking.
It surely has a few advanced features but can be expensive for startups and small businesses.
This business plan software provides a wide range of features, which may include:
- Financial forecasting software
- Sync accounting data
- Drag and drop templates and editor
- Integration with financial data
- Faster than Microsoft Word
The Business Plan Shop has two different pricing plans; one for businesses and CFOs and another for advisors. The business & CFO plan costs $25.50 per month, and the Advisor plan costs $94.20 per month.
What I didn't like about The Business Plan Shop?
Bizplan is a comprehensive business plan software helping startups, entrepreneurs, and small business owners create business plans with direct access to planning experts.
Financial tools help create detailed financial projections and financial and cash flow statements in no time, so entrepreneurs can spend more time growing and scaling their businesses.
The platform also has a fundraising tool to help startups connect with potential investors—which has already helped raise over $500 million for startups.
It has all the features to create a basic business plan but may lack industry-specific guidance or assistance.
Let’s have a look at the wide range of features that come with a Bizplan subscription:
- Financial modeling
- Integration and export
- Reporting and presentation
- Progress tracking
- Step-by-step guidance
Bizplan’s pricing plans start at $29/month, whereas the lifetime access costs $349. You may check their pricing page for more information.
What I didn't like about Bizplan?
Here are the average user ratings, comparing the experiences on Bizplan and Upmetrics.
Brixx is a financial forecast software for cash flow, budgeting, and financial planning. Apart from helping users create a basic business plan, the platform also helps them with financial modeling, scenario planning, and goal tracking.
Its interactive charts and graphs can help you clearly present your financial data and cash flow statements for enhanced reader understanding.
Integrating Brixx and other accounting software automates the syncing of your actuals and forecasts, giving you a head start using Brixx.
The tool primarily focuses on financial projections and forecasting, so there are only a few features for other parts of the business plan.
Let’s have a look at the wide range of features that come with a Brixx subscription:
- 1-10 year financial forecasts
- Professional charts and reports
- Automated tax forecasts
- Quick-start templates
- Share plans in real-time
- Business Resources
- 3-way forecasting
Brixx has four packages in its subscription model: Foundation, Essentials, Professional, and Enterprise. The pricing for these packages may range from $0 to $66 per month.
What I didn't like about Brixx?
How to Choose the Right Business Plan Software?
All the business plan tools on our list are credible and can help you create a winning business plan. However, it’s critical to understand each tool specializes in certain aspects of business planning.
Let’s understand which factors to consider while choosing the right tool to help you create a professional business plan:
The most obvious factor. Ask yourself how much you can afford to spend on a business plan maker.
A free or low-cost tool may provide only some necessary functionalities to create a detailed plan. So, figure out your budget and shortlist the tools that you can afford to invest in.
2. Your specific requirements
The next step. Learn your specific requirement. For instance, if your business is in the idea stage, you may not require a tool with advanced financial features like—PlanGuru; Ideabuddy may work.
Both tools cater to specific audiences; if you are not sure, you may go with Upmetrics. It has pricing plans suitable for all business sizes.
3. Business plan templates
Custom designing a business plan can be tedious, so make sure the business plan software you choose has industry-specific templates to help you get started.
4. AI assistance
Artificial Intelligence has revolutionalized the way people get their things done. Make sure you select a platform that also provides AI assistance while creating a business plan.
With tools like ChatGPT and AI business plan generators, you can draft a business plan in a breeze.
5. Charts and graphs
Let’s face it, no one likes to read long paragraphs. The tool you choose must be able to turn your financial data and balance sheets into appealing and easy-to-understand charts and graphics.
6. Financial projections
Most critical section of a business plan. Understand your requirement regarding financial projections and the level of features the tool provides.
For instance, a large-scale organization may require a tool that can easily do business financials for ten or more years.
7. Contribution and sharing features
Make sure the tool you choose must provide the contribution and sharing features so that you can work with multiple team members.
8. Convenience and user-friendliness
A no-brainer. Ensure the software you choose has a user-friendly user interface and a manageable learning curve to understand all the working features.
Some of the best business plan software integrates with accounting software. This feature can be handy while transferring financial details into your business plan.
10. Step-by-step guides
These user guides and tutorials can help you easily outline and prepare the first draft of your business plan, so make sure you consider this as one of the factors while selecting a tool.
You are new to business planning software and may need help using some of its features. A responsive support team can help you get back on the right track.
Think of these factors as a checklist while researching the right business plan software. Once you have checked off all the boxes, you will have the right business plan software by your side.
Pros and Cons of Using Business Plan Software
Undoubtedly, business plan software can be a worth-it investment for your business, but it surely has a few disadvantages too. Let’s get to that:
- Time Saving: business plan software can be a big time-saving investment.
- Step-by-step guidance: These guides make it easier to get started for beginners.
- Accurate reporting: Good business plan software guarantee the accountability and accuracy of the reports generated.
- Customizations: Business plan tools also offer options to personalize your reports.
- Generic templates: These planning tools often provide generic templates that may not suit your requirements.
- Limited flexibility: In terms of formatting, content, design, and layout.
- Learning curve: Using these tools requires a learning curve to navigate the software.
There have to be a few disadvantages, but they are negligible when you look at the positive side of having a business plan software onboard.
And this section leads us to our conclusion!
That was the article for today with some of the best business plan software. Now over to you. Revisit the top business planning software on the list, do your research, and select the one that best suits your requirements.
Got any more burning questions in mind? The FAQ section starts right after we wrap this article up, feel free to explore. Happy business planning!
Other Business Plan Software Alternatives
- Best 8 Liveplan alternatives
- Top Bizplan alternatives & competitors
- 8 Growthink alternatives
- Best Ideabuddy Alternatives
- Best Enloop Alternatives
Build Your Business Plan Easily
with step-by-step Guidance & AI Assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best business plan software for startups.
We’ve already mentioned the best business plan software in the blog post earlier; you may choose one amongst those depending on your specific needs.
However, Upmetrics can be a go-to business planning software for startups as it only costs $9 per month to get started—which is worth it against the value you get.
Which tool is used as a one-page business plan?
There are many business plan software providing features to create one-page business plans like—Upmetrics and Ideabuddy. You can use Upmetrics’ canvas modeling feature to develop actionable and entrepreneur-focused one-page business plans.
Can I write a business plan myself?
Of course, you can. It’s easier than ever to write a business plan with the emerging use of tools like ChatGPT. Though you can write a business plan, you need assistance making it presentable for your investors.
And business plan software providers like Upmetrics can help you do that. With 200+ sample business plans, you can easily write the first draft of your business plan.
What is the best way to write a business plan?
There cannot be a standard answer to this question. There are various business planning processes, and all of them might not work for you. Still, considering the time-saving approach, using an industry-specific template and editing it as per your requirements can be an easy way to write a business plan.
Using ChatGPT for business plan writing can also be one of the best ways to write a business plan. As mentioned, there can’t be a specific answer to this question; find a way that best suits your needs.
Is there any free business plan software available?
It’s really challenging to find the perfect business plan software, that too, for free. IdeaBuddy from our list has a free plan, but it comes with very limited features, not so helpful for creating a business plan.
Business plan software like Upmetrics, Bizplan, and LivePlan also have free trials, so you may try their features before purchasing. Furthermore, you can get a 30% off on an Upmetrics subscription if you are a nonprofit or student.
How much does business plan software typically cost?
The cost of a business plan software can widely depend on the level of features and functionalities they provide. Still, the monthly subscription of a business plan tool can range anywhere between $5 to $300.
About the Author
Ajay is a SaaS writer and a personal finance blogger. He loves to write about topics related to startups, businesses, money-making, and personal finances. If not writing, he’s probably having a power nap. Read more
How to Choose the Best Financial Planning Software
Modern financial planning is too complex without robust financial planning software.
Choosing Financial Planning Software
While the best financial planning software is subjective, some software programs rise above the rest. (Getty Images)
Financial planning isn't the pen-and-paper activity it used to be.
Luckily for financial advisors , abacuses and crank-operated calculators are technologies of the past. But while modernization has made math easier, it's also made the art of long-term financial planning more complicated.
Today's advisors need more than fancy desk calculators to construct financial plans that incorporate all elements of their clients' lives. State-of-the-art financial planning requires state-of-the-art financial planning software.
"Financial planning software is fundamentally a collection of calculators that work in concert as an engine to solve household needs," says John Amore, executive vice president and head of wealth management at Austin, Texas-based Kestra Financial. Just as you choose a car with the right engine for the type of driving you do, you should choose the best financial planning software for the planning experience you and your clients want.
Financial Planning Software to Consider
While the best financial planning software is subjective, some software programs rise above the rest. Keep reading below for guidance on how to choose which of these financial advisor software picks would work for your specific business.
- Moneytree: An early pioneer in financial planning software, Moneytree was founded in 1981 to provide advisors and planners with mathematically advanced tools that can help them create a repeatable planning process. It offers three tiers, including Advise for big-picture goal tracking and Plan for more in-depth goal and cash-flow tracking, plus what-if analysis to multi-advisor firms.
- eMoney Advisor: Designed to help you plan, engage, manage, streamline and grow your business, eMoney Advisor comes in four tiers – from Plus, which provides streamlined, goals-based planning, to Growth, designed to supercharge your business with integrated marketing and planning capabilities.
- MoneyGuidePro: The flagship version of Envestnet's financial advisor software provides goals-based planning with what-if worksheets, custom report templates and detailed plan analytics.
- NaviPlan: NaviPlan provides simple goals-based assessments and advanced cash-flow planning analysis. It includes lead generation, goal discovery, recommendations, presentations and monitoring capabilities.
- RightCapital: Created for advisors who need something between basic and comprehensive, RightCapital provides intuitive financial planning capabilities and tax planning strategies. Its budgeting and student loan debt features make it great for younger clients just starting out in their careers.
How to Choose Financial Planning Software
To help you choose the right financial planning software, follow these steps:
- Determine whether you need goals-based or cash-flow-based software.
- Understand your clients' needs.
- Consider how your clients prefer to receive their financial plans – for example, in digital or paper form.
- Look for intuitive software that's supported across device types.
- Consider the importance of ancillary planning services such as a client portal or account aggregation.
- Pay attention to security.
1. Determine Whether You Need Goals-based or Cash-flow-based Software
"Planning advice can be generalized as goals-based or cash-flow-based, and knowing this first is a good starting point in selecting a financial planning software," Amore says.
Goals-based software tracks client dollars relative to a financial goal and projects whether that goal will be reached. The potential shortfall of this approach is that the software won't necessarily track total earnings and where every dollar of spending goes. It leaves it to you as the advisor to determine whether your clients' goals are feasible given their income .
Cash-flow-based software, on the other hand, tracks every dollar that comes in and out of your clients' households. Rather than focusing on cash flow toward specific goals, cash-flow-based software will track how your clients' resources are flowing across all spending categories. While this creates a more thorough analysis than goals-based tracking, it can be tedious to input and project every dollar.
To determine if you would be better served by goals-based or cash-flow-based software, consider the type of planning you want to provide for clients.
2. Understand Your Clients' Needs
When shopping for a financial planning software, you also need to understand your clients' needs , so you can find the tool that works best for them, Amore says. Advisors whose core client base is complex families need a different software than those who work primarily with simple households. Likewise, higher net worth clients have different planning needs than those with fewer assets to invest.
"Each financial planning software provides a differentiated end-client experience or set of solutions that should align with an advisor's desired outcome," Amore says.
3. Consider How Your Clients Prefer to Receive Their Financial Plans
Planning tools also vary in sophistication. If your clients prefer paper communication rather than digital, you may want to look for a software that can support this.
"When a planning software is too complicated or not robust enough, frustration increases and usage declines," Amore says.
Kane Polakoff, national practice leader for UHY Advisors' Client Accounting Advisory Service in Farmington Hills, Michigan, tells advisors to look for "an intuitive system that's easy for (your) clients to learn and utilize."
4. Look for Intuitive Software That's Supported Across Device Types
Polakoff recommends a system that's supported on all devices, including desktop, mobile and smart devices, and allows you to communicate with clients based on the level of sophistication required.
It should also align with the level of sophistication you want to use in constructing the financial plan. A sole practitioner may not want a planning software that requires extensive data input or time to generate a plan, whereas a larger firm likely has the tech team to support more complex planning capabilities.
5. Consider the Importance of Ancillary Planning Services
Amore suggests considering the importance of ancillary planning services , such as a client portal or account aggregation, as part of your offering and looking for a software that provides this.
Polakoff recommends any software you use has an open architecture, which allows data to flow between different software packages. For example, MoneyTree lets advisors extract information from other systems such as Black Diamond to use for planning purposes. This will let you provide more robust reporting, he says.
He also tells advisors to confirm any financial planning software they use can run Monte Carlo simulation analysis. This will allow you to determine the probability of a range of possible outcomes rather than simple straight-line analyses based on a flat annual return.
6. Pay Attention to Security
Another important aspect to consider is the software's security capability. As advisors are increasingly moving to cloud-based planning, keeping client data digitally secure is paramount.
Polakoff says to look for a software with "strict security protocols to protect client information" such as two-factor authentication.
He also suggests asking software providers about their security policies and procedures: How often are they reviewed and updated? What security testing and assessments do they run? How is data stored? Advisors should consider these key criteria:
- Ability to run a financial report package on any date and at any time.
- Whether the program provides reconciliations of financial data automatically pulled from different custodial accounts to offer one view to the client.
- Ability to run Monte Carlo simulation analysis to determine the probability of a range of possible outcomes rather than simple straight-line analyses based on a flat annual return.
- An open architecture that allows you to easily pull data from different software.
- A subscription-based pricing model that isn't dependent on investment balances.
Best TV Shows for Advisors
Tags: financial advisors , software , money
The Most Important Ages for Retirement Planning
Comparative assessments and other editorial opinions are those of U.S. News and have not been previously reviewed, approved or endorsed by any other entities, such as banks, credit card issuers or travel companies. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of our partner offers may have expired.
You May Also Like
Revenue vs. profit.
Marc Guberti Nov. 10, 2023
Real Estate vs. Stock Market Investing
Alani Asis Nov. 10, 2023
Revocable vs. Irrevocable Trust
Marguerita Cheng Nov. 9, 2023
7 Best Crowdfunding Platforms
Wayne Duggan Nov. 9, 2023
7 Best High-Dividend Mutual Funds
Jeff Reeves Nov. 9, 2023
9 Best Stocks to Buy Under $5
Ian Bezek Nov. 8, 2023
7 Best Semiconductor Stocks
Brian O'Connell Nov. 8, 2023
Real Estate Crowdfunding Platforms
Wayne Duggan Nov. 8, 2023
8 Best Bank Stocks to Buy for 2023
Wayne Duggan Nov. 7, 2023
7 of the Best High-Dividend ETFs
Jeff Reeves Nov. 7, 2023
How to Become a Day Trader
Marc Guberti Nov. 7, 2023
Vanguard vs. Fidelity
Kat Tretina Nov. 3, 2023
7 Best ETFs to Buy Now
Jeff Reeves Nov. 3, 2023
8 Free Investment Classes and Resources
Scott Ward Nov. 2, 2023
2023's 10 Best-Performing Stocks
Wayne Duggan Nov. 1, 2023
How Much Cash Should I Hold?
Kate Stalter Nov. 1, 2023
How to Avoid Sequence of Returns Risk
The 9 Best 401(k) Funds
Pat Crawley Oct. 31, 2023
7 Best Marijuana Stocks to Buy Now
Matt Whittaker Oct. 31, 2023
Biggest Tech Companies in the World
Wayne Duggan Oct. 31, 2023
10 Best Planner Apps To Organize Work Better (2022)
Looking for the best planner apps to organize your schedule? This article compares the top apps for planning your day, week, month, or more.
But why do you need a planning app?
Juggling priorities, both on the personal and work front, can be tough.
Thankfully, today you have a number of software options to set a schedule and get work done. Plus, these applications are available for a variety of platforms — web, desktop, and mobile.
How do you find the best scheduling and work management app?
That’s what this article is about. We look at the best apps for planning your work and life. Each app in this article serves specific planning needs. So by the end of this article, you’ll find one that meets your requirements.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
Ready to dive in? Let’s start.
What are the best planner apps in 2022?
1. toggl plan.
Toggl Plan is the overall best planner app for businesses and teams .
With Toggl Plan, you can plan and track your team’s schedule using simple drag-and-drop timelines. But if you prefer Kanban boards to manage your tasks, Toggl Plan has them too.
You can also set color-coded milestones on the Project timeline . Optionally, you can share important milestones across other plans.
You’ll also be able to collaborate with your team by attaching files and checklists and adding comments to your tasks.
Best of all, managers can see their entire team’s plan in one place. This helps them identify scheduling bottlenecks and balance team workloads thus preventing overwork and burnout.
- Plan project or work schedules (including time off) using simple drag-and-drop timelines.
- Get a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual overview of the timeline
- Share a read-only view of Project timelines with external users
- Visualize your entire team’s schedule in one place to avoid overwork and burnout.
- Track tasks visually on Kanban task boards.
- Add color-coded milestones which are optionally visible across timelines.
- In-app and email notifications when something changes in your schedule.
- Integrates with Apple, Google, and Outlook calendars.
Online, iOS, and Android
- Forever free plan for solo users
- Team plan at $9 per user per month: Comes with Team timelines and integration with Toggl Track for time tracking
- Business plan at $15 per user per month: Comes with SSO, guest users, and data export for reporting
Try Toggl Plan for free .
If you’re looking for a free task planner app with a calendar view , Trello should be number one on your list.
Everything in Trello revolves around its Kanban board. You can drag and drop a task across columns to change its status and trigger automation workflows.
You can attach files, labels, and checklists to tasks and collaborate with your teammates using comments. But that’s not all. Trello’s task functionality is easily extended to suit your workflows using add-ons (aka powerups).
One such add-on is the calendar view with which you can visualize your plans and scheduled tasks on a calendar.
- Plan and track tasks with simple to-do, in-progress, done, or a custom workflow
- Visualize task schedules on a calendar view
- Visualize tasks on timelines and maps (premium feature)
- Integrates with thousands of other productivity apps
- Automate task works with if/then logic
Online, Windows, iOS, and Android
Trello price plans
- Forever free plan with unlimited tasks and up to 10 task boards
- Standard plan : comes at $5 per user per month with custom task fields and guests on single boards.
- Premium plan : comes at $10 per user per month with dashboard, timeline, and workspace calendar views
- Enterprise plan : comes at $17.50 per user per month with multi-board guests, single sign-on, and unlimited workspaces
If you were to build a list of personal daily planner apps , Any.do would be at the top.
With Any.do, you can visualize your daily plans as a simple to-do list. You’ll see your to-do items segmented by when they are due — today, tomorrow, or someday later.
For each planned task, you can set reminders too.
A planner app isn’t complete without a calendar or a timeline view. Any.do comes with a simple calendar view with which you can filter tasks for a specific date.
In addition to to-do lists, you can also capture notes and file documents.
- Capture and organize to-do items into lists
- Set one-time, repeating, or location-based reminders for to-do items
- Visualize daily plans using the calendar widgets on your phone
- Add grocery items to automatically add them to relevant category lists
- Re-schedule tasks for the day or week with a single tap
iOS, and Android
Any.do price plans
- Forever free plan with unlimited to-do items and lists
- Premium plan : $5.99 per month with advanced reminders, recurring tasks, and customizable color themes
TickTick is the most versatile work planning app for capturing tasks .
You can capture tasks using voice commands, by sending emails to TickTick as well as via Apple’s Siri app. While capturing tasks, TickTicks natural language processing automatically schedules tasks and creates reminders for a specific time or location.
- Capture tasks via email or voice input
- Organize tasks into lists and folders
- Prioritize and labels tasks
- Visualize tasks on a daily, weekly, or monthly calendar
- Pomodoro timer and white noise for distraction-free work (premium feature)
- Online, Linux, macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android
- Extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Gmail, and Outlook
- Free version : limited calendar functionality
- Premium version : $27.99 per year with full calendar features, progress tracker, Pomodoro timer, and white noise
Todoist is a work organizer and planning app for teams .
With Todoist, you can capture tasks for your personal and professional commitments. Once added, you can organize tasks into projects and subtasks.
You can also prioritize tasks, add projects as favorites for quick access, and set reminders for critical tasks.
Todoist also allows you to delegate tasks to your team and visualize everyone’s work on a Kanban board.
- Quickly capture and schedule tasks using natural language processing
- Organize tasks into projects and subtasks
- Share files and discuss tasks with your team
- See your team’s activity by project or team member
- Visualize the productivity of your team over time
Online, macOS, iOS, Android, and Windows
- Free forever : for 5 projects with up to 5 collaborators per project
- Pro plan : $4 per user per month for 300 projects, up to 25 collaborators per project, and reminders
- Business plan : $6 per user per month for 500 projects, 50 team members per project, and team billing
Twobird turns your email inbox into a work planning tool .
It works with Google and Microsoft email apps including Gmail, Google Workspace, and Outlook.
Twobird smartly categorizes your emails by priority. Plus, it sets reminders for emails that can be tackled later. In addition, you also get smart notifications to avoid distractions.
- Integrate with Google and Microsoft email
- Prioritize emails and set reminders automatically
- Get smart notifications for distraction-free work
- Unsubscribe from unwanted emails quickly
- Add notes to email conversations
Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android
Twobird is free to use for now and plans to offer premium plans in the future.
7. Google Calendar
Google Calendar is one of the best online calendar apps out there. It provides one of the best overviews of your work, meetings, and daily agenda.
Scheduling remote meetings with Google Calendar is a breeze. It automatically takes care of the participant’s time zones. Plus, with integrations for Zoom or Google Meet, you can hop into the meeting right from the notification.
- Create events with smart suggestions for titles, people, and places
- Automatically add events to calendars from flight or hotel booking emails in Gmail
- Day, week, and month views to visualize your schedule
- Free for personal use
- Google Workspace subscription for business at $6 per user per month
8. Things 3
If you’re looking for a daily planner app for iPhone or iPad, look no further.
Things 3 is an award-winning daily task planning app built specifically for iOS. It also works on desktop Mac devices.
To-do items in Things are organized into projects and areas. Areas represent each sphere in your life such as work, family, finance, etc.
- Organize to-do items into projects and areas
- Plan and visualize your daily and upcoming schedules
- Set reminders
- Repeat tasks automatically on a set schedule
- Integrates with Apple calendar and shows your events alongside tasks
- Create to-do items via email
All iOS devices including Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iWatch
- iPhone and iWatch version : $9.99
- iPad version : $19.99
- Mac version : $49.99
9. Day by Day Organizer
Day by Day is one of the popular planning apps for Android devices.
It integrates Google Calendar and Google Tasks in one Android app. That way you get the best of both worlds — a powerful calendar with simple task management.
Day by Day keeps your Calendar and Tasks in sync. You can see all your events and tasks in one simple list. Also, you can plan and track tasks for a specific day, week, or month.
- See events and tasks in one list
- Keep your Google Calendar and Google Tasks in sync
- Birthday reminder
- Capture tasks and events with voice input
- Agenda planner view
- Free version with Google Calendar and Tasks synchronization
- Premium version at $4.99 with recurring tasks, subtasks, and task priorities
Habitica is one of the best daily routine planner apps that helps you form habits
It gamifies your daily routine and encourages you to form habits and become more productive. Every time you perform a routine task on time, you get in-game rewards as well as praise from the community.
Habitica is useful as a student planner app to form study habits. Or as a fitness planner to stay healthy with daily exercise habits.
- Track and manage habits, to-do lists, and daily goals
- Get in-game rewards as you check off your tasks and goals
- Battle with your online friends using these rewards to earn real-world rewards
Habitica pricing options
- Free version to track your goals and habits publicly
- Premium version at $9 per month + $3 per user per month for private group plans
What is the best planner app for your needs?
There are a lot of options when it comes to planning apps. You get apps for personal and professional use as well as individual and team use.
So how do you choose the best planner for your needs? Think about it from these angles:
- Does the app meet your/your team’s needs?
- Does it make you more productive when planning your work?
- Do you like working with the app?
- Does it fit your budget?
- Can it integrate with your existing work management system?
These questions will help you decide on the best planning app for your needs.
Most online tools, including Toggl Plan, have a free trial or a forever free plan. Use this opportunity to try out the planning software, along with your team before you decide on the tool of your choice.
FAQs about planning apps
A planner app is a work management tool that combines scheduling and task management. It captures, organizes, and schedules work tasks using a timeline or a calendar.
A planner helps you and your team get work done by bringing clarity, accountability, and transparency to work. In addition, planners like Toggl Plan help you avoid scheduling conflicts as well as prevent your team from getting overworked and burned out. In addition, here are nine planner ideas to organize your work
There are many types of planner apps depending on the end-users — personal and professional work planners, paper and digital planners, team project planners, etc. In addition, certain types of planners are designed for specific use cases. For example, financial planners, student planners, health and fitness planners, etc.
First, identify the work you need to get done in a specific period. For example, a month, a week, or a day. Second, schedule tasks and projects using a timeline or a calendar while avoiding scheduling conflicts with other work plans, team members, and time off. And third, ensure that everyone’s workload is reasonable.
Google does not have a daily planner app. However, you can combine Google Calendar and Google Tasks to plan your daily work items. In addition, you also get Google Keep which helps you organize your notes and to-do lists as well as get location-based reminders.
Jitesh is an SEO and content specialist. He manages content projects at Toggl and loves sharing actionable tips to deliver projects profitably.
Join 30,000+ subscribers getting the best tips on productivity, work management, hiring and more!
We promise we won't spam you and you can unsubscribe anytime.
You might also like...
Related to Time Management
What is Time Management? A Beginners Guide
9 Tips On How To Prioritize Tasks Effectively At Work
How to Track Time In a Spreadsheet
Take a peek at our most popular categories:
- Search Search Please fill out this field.
- Building Your Business
- Business Tools
Best Small Business Software
Help your business thrive with tools that save time and money
We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more .
According to a 2016 survey, the average entrepreneur spends 68% of the time tackling day-to-day tasks and only 32% of the time on long-term goals, strategic planning, and other tasks that can help their business grow. Due to their limited operating budgets and small staffs, small businesses usually can’t afford the tools and systems that will help them streamline their daily operations.
We reviewed dozens of software platforms built specifically to help small businesses take care of the tasks that will help them thrive. We chose the best based on common business needs, quality of the platform, ease-of-use, and affordability. Here are our top picks.
Best Small Business Software of 2023
- Best Free Software: Wave Accounting
- Best Website Builder: Wix
- Best Email Marketing Software: Mailchimp
- Best Project Management Software: Trello
- Best Team Communication Software: Slack
- Best Document Management Software: Google Workspace
- Our Top Picks
- Google Workspace
- See More (3)
- What Is Small Business Software?
- How Much Do Programs Cost?
- Are Programs Worth the Cost?
Best Free Software : Wave Accounting
Wave Accounting was created in 2010 by co-founders Kirk Simpson and James Lochrie who were frustrated by the lack of free and easy-to-use financial software for small businesses. Today Wave has more than 250 employees serving small businesses around the world. We chose it as the best accounting software because it lets small businesses track income and expenses, send invoices, scan receipts, track sales taxes, and more, all for free.
Wave helps users connect multiple bank accounts and credit cards and set up profiles for multiple businesses to help keep track of income and expenses. The software organizes accounts, payments, and invoices to make tax time easier and also offers robust reports to help identify cash flow trends.
Users can create and send professional, branded invoices from Wave’s dashboard or mobile app. The invoicing software can set up recurring invoices and automatic credit card payments for repeat customers and automatically syncs invoice and payment information with its accounting software.
Wave’s mobile app lets users scan receipts anywhere and sync them seamlessly with their Wave account to help keep track of business expenses. Users can also scan receipts offline to be synced the next time the device is online.
Although Wave is completely free to use, it also offers additional paid services, including accepting credit cards and bank payments and setting up payroll for employees and contractors.
- Free accounting
- Free invoicing
- Free receipt scanning
- All Wave Accounting features
- 2.9% + 60¢ per transaction for Visa, Mastercard, Discover
- 3.4% + 60¢ per transaction for American Express
- 1% per ACH transaction ($1 minimum fee)
- $40 plus $6 per employee/contractor per month (tax-service states)
- $20 plus $6 per employee/contractor per month (self-service states)
Best Website Builder : Wix
Wix was founded in 2006 by three entrepreneurs frustrated with the difficulty and expense of creating a website. Today, the company has a staff of 5,000 employees worldwide and 200 million users in 190 countries. We chose it for the best website builder since it lets users create professional-looking websites with no coding knowledge for an affordable price.
Wix comes with hundreds of professional templates and a drag-and-drop editor, making it easy to create a professional business site in just minutes. Every website is designed to look great on mobile devices and features engaging effects including animation, video backgrounds, and scrolling.
Businesses that want to sell online can take advantage of Wix’s advanced e-commerce features. Users can set up an online store, manage inventory and orders, and get revenue and conversion rate reports using a simple, intuitive dashboard. Wix also lets store owners accept payments via Wix Payments, PayPal, and Stripe and integrates with Instagram and Facebook.
Although creating a basic website is free, upgrading to a paid plan is the only way to unlock Wix’s business and e-commerce features. All of Wix’s paid plans include a 14-day free trial, free hosting, Google Analytics, and the ability to link a custom domain.
Business Basic Plan
- $27 per month
- Accept online payments
- Unlimited bandwidth
- 50GB storage
- Connect your domain
- Remove Wix ads
- Five video hours
- Google Analytics
- Free domain for one year
- $600 ad vouchers
- Visitor Analytics app
Business Unlimited Plan
- $32 per month
- 100GB storage
- All Business Basic Plan features
- 10 video hours
Business VIP Plan
- $59 per month
- Unlimited storage
- All Business Unlimited Plan features
- Unlimited video hours
- Priority Response
- VIP Support
Best Email Marketing Software : Mailchimp
Mailchimp was created in 2001 by web design agency owners Ben Chestnut and Dan Kurzius who wanted to create an affordable email marketing service for small businesses. It has grown into a full-fledged marketing platform offering landing pages, websites, postcards, and more. We chose it as the best email marketing software because it offers small businesses high-level email marketing with both free and affordable paid plans.
Mailchimp’s free email software makes it easy for business owners new to email marketing to get started. The platform offers premade email templates, opt-in popups and signup forms, audience segmentation, and basic personalization. Users also get a mobile app that lets them view campaign performance and send emails with just a few clicks.
Mailchimp’s drag-and-drop templates let users create professional, branded emails with no design skills. A built-in analytics tool also keeps track of open rates and clicks, and segments data to help show what’s working and what’s not. Users can automatically send out targeted emails based on user behaviors, like a welcome message for new signups or a related product recommendation for a recent buyer.
Most small businesses can get pretty far using Mailchimp’s free plan. The paid plans add more subscribers and lists as well as more detailed automations:
- 500 subscriber limit
- 1,000 emails per month
- Basic email templates
- Integrations with 300+ apps
- Landing pages and popup forms
- Single-step automations
- Basic reports
- $13 per month (based on the number of subscribers)*
- 50,000 subscriber limit
- Monthly email sends: 10x plan’s contact limit.
- All Free Plan features
- Access to all email templates
- A/B testing
- Remove Mailchimp footer
- 24/7 email and chat support
- $20 per month (based on the number of subscribers)*
- 100,000 subscriber limit
- Monthly email sends: 12x plan’s contact limit.
- All Essentials Plan features
- Behavior-based automations
- Multi-step automations
- Send time optimization
- Delivery by time zone
* Use the Mailchimp calculator to determine pricing based on the size of the email list.
Mailchimp also offers a premium plan that starts at $350 per month, but this is geared more toward larger businesses.
Best Project Management Software : Trello
In 2011, a company called Fog Creek Software launched a prototype of a project management tool designed to solve high-level planning issues. Later named Trello, the software grew to over 500,000 users in just one year and 4.75 million by 2014. We chose it as the best project management software because it offers a free, flexible, and visual way to manage projects.
Trello uses Kanban-style boards for task and project tracking and makes it easy to manage both individual projects and ongoing workflows. Its simple and intuitive interface lets users create custom boards and lists with cards that can include images, files, links, checklists, due dates, and more.
Users can get started in seconds with a blank board or choose from hundreds of categorized templates created by other users that can be modified as needed. Trello offers integrations with Slack, Google Drive, Dropbox, and dozens of other third-party platforms as well as mobile apps to streamline collaboration and workflows.
Trello offers a lot with its free plan including unlimited personal boards, lists, and cards. The free plan is limited to 10MB per file attachment, 10 team boards, and one third-party integration (Power-up) per board. Three additional plans add features:
- Unlimited cards
- Up to 10 boards per workspace
- Unlimited power-ups per board
- Unlimited storage (10 MB/file)
- 250 workspace command runs per month
- Custom backgrounds and stickers
- Unlimited activity log
- Assignee and due dates
- iOS and Android mobile apps
- Two-factor authentication
- $5 per user per month
- Unlimited boards
- Advanced checklists
- Custom Fields
- Unlimited storage (250MB/file)
- 1,000 Workspace command runs per month
- Single board guests
- Saved searches
- $10 per user per month
- All Free and Standard plan features
- Views: Calendar, timeline, table, dashboard, and map
- Workspace views: Table and calendar
- Unlimited workspace command runs
- Admin and security features
- Workspace-level templates
- Priority support
- Simple data export
- Up to $17.50 per user per month, depending on total number of users
- All Free, Standard, and Premium plan features
- Unlimited workspaces
- Organization-wide permissions
- Organization-visible boards
- Public board management
- Multi-board guests
- Attachment permissions
- Power-up administration
- Free SSO and user provisioning with Atlassian access
Best Team Communication Software : Slack
Slack was originally built as an internal communication tool for a game development company started by Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield in 2009. Launched in 2014, it has millions of users in over 150 countries. We chose it as the best team communication software because it offers real-time messaging, feedback, and collaboration in a free, online platform.
Slack was developed to eliminate the inefficiencies and delays of email communication. The software lets users create channels that can be organized around a topic, team, project, or even a client. Channels can be public and open to all users of a Slack account or private and accessed by invitation only.
Besides communicating in real-time, Slack offers tons of integrations letting teams share files, create polls, schedule meetings, and connect to third-party project management, cloud storage, and productivity tools. The platform offers free, one-click voice and video calls and even lets users spin-off discussion threads to keep larger conversations focused and uncluttered.
One of Slack’s most useful features is its search function. No more sorting through emails or written notes hoping to find that one valuable piece of information. Slack lets users search for a conversation, mention, or user and share or bookmark it no matter how long ago it took place.
Businesses that only need a single workspace, one-on-one video calls, and only a few app integrations can get by with a free Slack account. The free account also limits searches to 90 days of message history:
- Access to up to 90 days of message history
- Up to 10 third-party app integrations
- One-to-one video and voice calls
- $7.25 per user per month
- Unlimited message search
- Unlimited third-party app integrations
- Group video calls up to 15 people
- Screen sharing
- 10GB storage per user
- Guest accounts and shared channels
- 24/7 support
- $12.50 per user per month
- All Pro Plan features
- 20GB storage per user
- User management
- 24/7 support with four-hour first response time
Best Document Management Software : Google Workspace
Formerly Google Suite, Google Workplace is a collection of online office tools, including email, document creation and management, cloud storage, calendars, chat, video meetings, and more. We chose it as the best document management software because it offers secure, branded, cloud-based document creation, storage, collaboration, and sharing.
Google Workspace is a great option for small businesses that want to create an efficient, collaborative, cloud-based work environment without having to pay for expensive software or worrying about everyone having the same computer. Because every tool in the Google Workspace platform is a Google product, users can move seamlessly from app to app.
Businesses can start by creating a branded email address using Gmail, one of the most popular mail apps on the marketplace. Other tools include Google Calendars for team scheduling; Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for creating documents, spreadsheets, and presentations with real-time collaboration; Google Drive for cloud storage; Google Chat for team messaging; and Google Meet for video meetings.
Aside from the integrations between each app, Google Workspace also lets users connect to hundreds of third-party platforms, including Zoom, DocuSign, Salesforce, Trello, Asana, and many more. Google Workspace add-ons only access the minimum required data needed to complete an action to ensure that each business’s information stays secure.
Although anyone can get access to all Google Workspace apps by signing up for a free Gmail account, Google Workspace paid plans allow businesses to create business email addresses, get more cloud storage, and increase security. Google also offers a 14-day free trial on any Google Workspace paid plan:
- $6 per user per month
- Business email accounts
- Google Chat and Google Meet
- Shared calendars
- 30 GB Google Drive cloud storage per user
- Admin controls
- 24/7 standard support
- $12 per user per month
- All Business Start Plan features
- 2 TB Google Drive cloud storage per user
- Cloud Search 1st party data
- $18 per user per month
- All Business Standard Plan features
- 5 TB Google Drive cloud storage per user
- Vault and advanced endpoint management
- eDiscovery and Retention Policies
- All Business Plus Plan features
- Customizable with no limit on storage
- Cloud Search 1st & 3rd party data
- Security Center
- Enhanced management and compliance tools
- 24/7 enhanced support
What Are Software Programs for Small Businesses?
Software programs for small businesses are designed to make small businesses more efficient by streamlining work, automating processes, and helping with day-to-day tasks which may be taking away from the business owner’s more important duties. These software programs are specifically designed to meet the needs of small businesses owners, who can use them to link banks and credit cards, set up business profiles, manage accounting and payroll features, and store documents.
How Much Do Software Programs for Small Businesses Cost?
Software programs for small businesses vary in their functions, features, and capabilities. They also vary in price. There are some free small business software programs. For paid programs, you can expect the cost to range from $5 per user per month to around $20 per user per month. Credit card transaction fees are billed separately.
Are Software Programs for Small Businesses Worth the Cost?
Software programs for small businesses are worth the cost if they increase efficiency and allow the owner or managers to focus more on tasks that bring in money, help the business grow, and meet long-term revenue goals. Software that helps with automation is typically worth the cost so that the owner can focus less on mundane tasks and have more time for serving customers and managing employees.
How We Chose the Best Software Programs for Small Businesses
We thoroughly reviewed and researched the best software programs available to small businesses before deciding on our top choices. We eventually narrowed it down to the best options based on cost, features, functions, integrations, compatibility, and more.
Halfpoint Images / Getty Images
Agility PR Solutions. " Time Management: New Survey Reveals How Biz Owners Are Spending Their Time—And How They’d Rather Spend It ."
Wave. " We Are Wave ."
Wave. " Online Payments = On-Time Payments ."
Wix. " The Leader in Website Creation ."
Wix. " Wix Premium Plans ."
Mailchimp. " About Mailchimp ."
Trello. " About Trello ."
University of Victoria. " Slack's Stewart Butterfield on Learning From Failure ."
Slack. " About Us ."
Google. " Pricing ."
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.